Sourav doubtful for last tie
Sachin, Sourav to skip meet
Line and length my priority, says Brett Lee
Bagan imports dazzle
Praise in public, castigate in private, says Ian C
Tisco down IMC 3-0
Treasure wins close tussle
Inglenook for Derby

Perth, Jan. 29 
The morning after is the hardest, when a fresh day only reminds you that, for now at least, it’s the end of the world.

Today, Sachin Tendulkar was hit by exactly those emotions. It was reflected in what he said and in his tone.

“Yes, there are times when it’s very difficult to accept what is reality... It’s even more difficult as I’m convinced yesterday’s result would have been different had I not been given out. We would, then, still have had a chance...” Sachin told The Telegraph.

Last night’s defeat against Pakistan eliminated India from the ‘race’ for the second finalists’ spot in the Carlton and United Series.

Not just this tournament, but the entire tour (which began in the last week of November) has been a disaster of titanic proportions. And, it’s evident in black-and-white — only one win in a side match (against New South Wales) and just one victory in the on-going series.

Of course tomorrow’s game, versus Australia, has lost all competitive flavour, but it still is a one-day international. Therefore, a detailed post-mortem into everything that went wrong has to wait a while.

With multiple losses, it’s hard to even think of possible gains.

But Sachin insisted there actually was one: “It has taught our players where they stand on the international stage... It has exposed them to conditions never found at home. Now, it’s upto them to learn.”

Excessive flak, on returning home (Tuesday, after a night halt in Kuala Lumpur), is inevitable. However, Sachin pointed out: “If we are looking to building a team, the process cannot be smooth... Indeed, I remain convinced this side was definitely worth more wins. Really, we have to be patient.”

It’s a comment which encourages one to ponder over what could and should have been. Perhaps, a thin slice of pride will be regained if the team does, at least, end the tour on a winning note.

But in striving to achieve that, the Indians have run into heavy weather even before the toss — vice-captain Sourav Ganguly, top-scorer in the tournament with 356 runs (including two hundreds), has been advised “two weeks rest” and could miss the match.

Sourav has had a recurrence of the ligaments problem in the right knee, one which first surfaced during last year’s World Cup. “At times I can’t even bend it, and it gets very painful, specially on waking up... Let’s see how I feel, in the morning,” Sourav said late this evening.

According to Sourav, he felt the pain return during the Hobart game and, again, in Adelaide. “Besides other medication, I took one cortisone injection yesterday and one today... The local specialist, consulted this morning, has advised rest for a fortnight and a detailed examination when we get home,” Sourav added.

India have other fitness problems as well. Anil Kumble has a strained thigh muscle and Jacob Martin, who batted courageously last evening, hasn’t obviously recovered from the knee injury.

With three first XI players doubtful, the Indians didn’t even have the customary pre-match team meeting to finalise who takes the field and who all sit out. That will now be done early tomorrow.

Australia have no such worries and returning to their XI will be Shane Warne, sidelined with injury for much of the series. “I’m keyed up, that’s for sure, but the WACA is a tough venue (for a spinner) to make a comeback. That, too, against the Indians who play spin well...” Warne remarked.

Steve Waugh has already promised his team won’t ease off, which means looking for the seventh consecutive victory is Australia’s only priority.

Meanwhile, the WACA will see a full house and, already, there is much talk about just how quick the sensational Brett Lee will be.

Clearly, Lee has the potential to add to the heat — even without his scorching pace, though, the batsmen will find the WACA hot.

It was steamy today, it could be worse tomorrow. And, it’s a day game.    

Perth, Jan. 29 
Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are unlikely to play the forthcoming Challenger Trophy, back home, to be hosted by Ahmedabad.

While Sourav has been advised to rest for a fortnight — following recurrence of a knee problem — Sachin told The Telegraph that a “break” would be needed to recover from the “slight niggles” he was carrying. Sachin and Sourav do need a rest, but it’s pointless having the Challenger when most of the big guns usually give it a skip.    

Perth, Jan. 29 
Brett Lee, credited with the fastest ball (154.8 kmph) this summer, has no intention of getting carried away by the WACA bounce.

Lee, younger brother of Shane, will be making his first Australia appearance at the WACA tomorrow, against India. The match, of course, is of no consequence as India have already failed to qualify for the Carlton and United Series finals.

“It’s easy to get carried away, but it’s important to bowl a good line and length... I did bowl probably my fastest in a Shield game, at the WACA (New South Wales versus Western Australia), but that was with some assistance from the breeze... Even then, as I’ve said, keeping a good line and length is my priority,” Lee remarked, after the team’s morning workout.

But, yes, Lee is excited about playing at the WACA, a ground that nursed Australia’s greatest quick — Dennis Lillee. “It’s a great venue to be bowling at... I’ll just pitch the ball up and wait for things to happen.”

Lee acknowledged that bowling alongside likes of Glenn McGrath had been an education. “When you keep playing with guys better than you, your own standards improve... It’s been such a rewarding experience and, honestly, I’d never imagined I would be going places so early in my career. Indeed, my frequent-flyer points (on Ansett) have sky-rocketed!”

According to Lee, while he continues to pick up tips from all seniors, it’s brother Shane who has taught him to effectively use the old ball. “Reverse-swing is something I’ve specially learnt from Shane,” he revealed.

Being such a willing learner, Lee is bound to improve even more. And, continue to draw even bigger crowds.    

Calcutta, Jan. 29 
The star-studded forward line of Mohun Bagan sparkled as they brushed aside Tollygunge Agragami today in their Coca-Cola National League engagement at Rabindra Sarovar Stadium.

With Uzbek Igor Shkvirin opening the account and Nigerian Stephen Abarowei scoring two, Mohun Bagan put three past the Tollygunge goalkeeper Bivash Ghosh. The consolation goal for the home team came through Sasthi Duley.

Mohun Bagan went into the attack from the start, and the way they played today it seemed that their sole aim was to gather three points and seal the second spot on the National League table after the first leg.

The green-and-maroon brigade now has 22 points from 11 outings, behind leaders Churchill Brothers who have 22 from 10. Tollygunge now have 13 from 11. Churchill end their first-leg engagements against JCT tomorrow.

Mohun Bagan’s first goal came in the 10th minute, thanks not only to the alertness of their players, but also to a fatal defensive lapse. Dulal Biswas charged down the right and Rashmohan Mallik allowed him to float one in for the waiting Igor. The Uzbek did not waste a moment, sending a blinder into the far corner.

Hardly five minutes went by when Abarowei showed that he is still a force to reckon with. Following a throw-in, he took a right footer which rebounded back to him. This time his powerful left-footer gave Ghosh no chance at all.

The third goal came early in the second half, when Brazilian Jose Barreto Ramirez ran down the middle and set up Abarowei inside the box, who shot past Ghosh.

Almost against the run of play, Sasthi Duley pulled one back for the home team. Abayomi Isiaka’s centre from the right found Duley who tapped it past goalkeeper Sandip Nandy.

Mohun Bagan’s dominance in the first half was so complete that Tollygunge found it impossible to make a game out of it. But to their credit they did not give up.

In fact, with Mohun Bagan adopting a slightly more defensive tactics in the second half, the hosts did come up with a few attacks and counter-attacks. Chandan Das, in the midfield, and Isiaka tried to give an edge to their gameplan, with Seriki Abdulateef and Duley trying their best upfront.

But Mohun Bagan’s super trio — Abarowei, Igor and Ramirez — proved a handful for the Tollygunge defence. Had Dipendu Biswas not wasted a couple of sitters, the visitors could have won by a bigger margin.    

Perth, Jan. 29 
Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist... All are products of the Commonweath Bank Cricket Academy, in an Adelaide suburb. And, all have interacted with legends like Ian Chappell in the lead-up to their ‘graduation’.

The Academy, which is a collaboration between the Australian Institute of Sports and the Australian Cricket Board, regularly invites former greats to interact with the trainees. Chappell, arguably Australia’s finest captain, is there each year.

“It’s an experience I quite enjoy,” Chappell told The Telegraph this afternoon, as he spoke about the Academy and his association with it.

The following are excerpts:

On how he views the academy concept

An academy is like a finishing school. What’s more important is the system which takes boys to the academy... Frankly, an academy will only serve its purpose when the system allows boys to play good, competitive cricket.

On the system in Australia

It’s in place throughout... In schools, at the club-level and, of course, in the states. The (Adelaide) Academy may, of course, help in getting international exposure quicker but, then, the boys have already had the benefits of a proper system. While they come ready for the Academy, the Academy prepares them for the big league.

On whether he would have been an even better cricketer had he been exposed to something on the lines of the present Academy

No... I was, in any case, fortunate to have had terrific guidance and coaching — from my father and a gentleman in Adelaide by the name Lynn Fuller... Yes, I did have the benefit of my grandfather’s (Victor Richardson) genes, too, and was lucky to have studied in a college (Prince Alfred, in Adelaide) which had a rich cricket tradition.

Our headmaster had been a stalwart in New Zealand while the coach, Chester Bennett, captained not one but two Shield teams — South Australia and Western Australia... In fact, our chemistry master Mr ‘Raj’ Coombe, whose roots were in India, was also a good cricketer. So, the atmosphere to develop was ideal.

Therefore, my cricket education really couldn’t have been better. And, really, I shouldn’t forget the many backyard battles with brother Greg. Those duels too were part of the learning process.

On whether selectors should give preference to ‘graduates’ from the Academy

The selectors must always only pick the best team, rely on the best available. That’s the bottomline.

On his association with the Academy

It’s through old buddy Rod Marsh, the head coach. Each year, I’m invited for a week to interact with the boys. I talk about captaincy, footwork to tackle spinners, playing the short-pitched deliveries... I also suggest ways to interact with the Media.

On the suggestions he offers

Look, my talking to the boys won’t necessarily make them better cricketers but, yes, scenarios are discussed and should one such actually surface on the field, a small bell may just ring... Basically, I give ideas and the boys see which ones are, for them, more suitable.

On his captaincy-specific ideas

(Laughs) You mean, what makes a good captain? A lot of things... Sound knowledge of the game, honesty with the players... If you’ve got to pull up somebody, do so in private. In other words, praise publicly but castigate in private... I also tell the boys every captain needs luck.

On whether he is surprised that South Africa is the only other country to have had an academy for some years (the one in Zimbabwe has recently begun)

The way I see it, there’s no point having an academy if the system isn’t right... That’s what I keep telling people in England. Clearly, if the system won’t produce good players, even the best academy will be an exercise in futility. It won’t be of help even if you get Sir Don Bradman, Dennis Lillee and Sir Gary Sobers to be the visiting coaches.

Finally, on whether he will accept any invitation to interact with trainees once the Indian Board’s academy is set up (in Bangalore)

Honestly, I’ve got my hands full... As things are, at the moment, I don’t think I’ll be looking for assignments.    

Calcutta, Jan. 29 
Tisco defeated IMC 3-0 on the opening day of The Telegraph Merchants’ Cup badminton tournament at the Saturday Club.

In other matches today, Topsel Pvt Ltd thrashed Williamson Magor 3-0, while reigning champions Nicco got the better of J. Thomas by a similar margin. Casuarina Confectioneries beat The Telegraph 2-1 and ITC beat Berger Paints 3-0 in other matches of the day.

Twenty teams are taking part in the meet.The Telegraph were runners-up last year..    

Calcutta, Jan. 29 
Coming with a brilliant stretch-run, Bountiful Treasure notched up the verdict at the post from Joe The Pro in the HSBC Cup today. The opposition, however, cried foul that the Darius Byramji-trainee was gifted away the prize. The erection of false rails without any official notification and Cristopher Alford’s handling of the second placed horse was labelled by the rival amateurish and for christian charity.

The clerk of the course, Col B. B. S. Bali, however, defended the false-rails issue: “Trainers were verballoy informed about the false rails. It was to save the bald portion of the track in view of the ‘Million’ next Saturday.”

Cristopher, who was not available for his comments, was accused by his backers for allowing Aslam Kader (atop Bountiful Treasure) the galloping room, along the rails, when shaping as a winner in the final stages of the race.


1. Ocean Way Cup 2,400m: (3-4-2) Supreme Desire (C. Alford) 1; Consolidate (M. Reuben) 2; Rheinheart (Shanker) 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 3-1/4; (2-45.5). Tote: Win Rs 19; Quinella: 26. Fav: Supreme Desire (3). Winner trained by D. David.

2. Amrit Bbushan Gujral Memorial Cup 1,400m: (4-3-1-2) Silver City (C. Alford) 1; Storm Centre (Engineer) 2; A Ma Dats’E (Shanker) 3; Imperial Choice (Som) 4. Won by: 2; SH; 6-3/4; (1-27.6). Tote: Win Rs 16; Place: 13; 20; Quinella: 29; Tanala: 51. Fav: Silver City (4). Winner trained by D. Byramji.

3. Red Bay Handicap 1,100m: (4-2-1-6) Aznavour (Connorton) 1; Double Crown (Islam) 2; Remember The Day (P. Alford) 3; Giltedge (Rutherford) 4. Won by: 2-3/4; 1-1/2; 3/4; (1-6.5). Tote: Win Rs 36; Place: 15; 12; 40; Quinella: 33; Tanala: 614. Fav: Double Crown (2). Winner trained by J. Stephens.

4. Picnic Handicap 1,200m: (2-1-3-6) Sixteen Sixtyfour (Rajendra) 1; Vested Interest (Manohar) 2; Aristotemus (Sher) 3; Bold Times (Salam) 4. Won by: 4-1/4; 3-1/4; 1-1/2; (1-14.9). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 12; 13; 24; Quinella: 25; Tanala: 131. Fav: Sixteen Sixtyfour (2). Winner trained by Vijay S.

5. Hsbc Cup 1,200m: (2-7-4-1) Bountiful Treasure (Kader) 1; Joe The Pro (C. Alford) 2; Starry Flag (Rajendra) 3; Master Of The Rolls (Connorton) 4. Won by: 1/2; 1 3/4; 1-1/4; (1-11.6). Tote: Win Rs 25; Place: 12; 17; 13; Quinella: 62; Tanala: 245. Fav: Bountiful Treasure (2). Winner trained by D. Byramji.

6. Bahrain Trophy 1,200m: (5-2-7-8) Merano (Kader) 1; Clarice Cliff (Connorton) 2; Optimum Choice (Merchant) 3; A Million Memories (Rajendra) 4. Won by: 1-1/4; 1-3/4; 1-1/4; (1-11.9). Tote: Win Rs 20; Place: 13; 15; 23; Quinella: 33; Tanala: 230. Fav: Merano (5). Winner trained by D. Byramji.

7. Tom Pip Handicap 1,200m: (1-7-3-5) Mikado (C. Alford) 1; As You Please (Shanker) 2; Silver Raising (Akhtar) 3; Crown Prince (Manohar) 4. Won by: 1; 1/2; 3/4; (1-14). Tote: Win Rs 19; Place: 11; 19; 19; Quinella: 53; Tanala: 468. Fav: Mikado (1). Winner trained by D. David.

Jackpot: Rs 414; (C) Rs 67.

Treble: (i) Rs 71; (ii) Rs 74.

h3>Barrier trial after the last race

1,100m: Successor (Yacoob)), Harry The Horse (Connorton), Soviet Sky (M. Reuben), Compliance (Surender S.), Ispahan (Shanker), Dramatic Turn (Akhtar), Smooth Jazz (Som S.) and Garden Of Heaven (Saran S.) in 1-9s; (400m) 25s. The first named was a distance ahead as they finished in the order named. The last named planted.    

The Bangalore 2,000 Guineas winner, Inglenook is taken to win the Hindu Golconda Derby Stakes in Hyderabad on Sunday.


1 pm: Calando 1. Chilling 2. Desert Fox 3.

1.30 pm: Abbattale 1. Venus Star 2. Jusgladii 3.

2 pm: Arikana 1. Alphabetic 2. Honey Well 3.

2.30 pm: Bette Noire 1. Disc Drive 2. Battle Creek 3.

3 pm: Blitz Craig 1. Splendid King 2. Great India 3.

3.35 pm: Gold Label 1. Illuminous 2. Cool Riddinn 3.

4.05 pm: Inglenook 1. Amazing Sail 2. Viking 3.

4.45 pm: Crystal Reef 1. Agreeable 2. Most Wanted 3.

5.15 pm: Thrilling Time 1. Inherent 2. Ornamental 3.

Day’s Best: Abbattale

Double: Blitz Craig & Inglenook.

Saturday’s Bangalore results

1. Novice Plate 1,400m: (2-9-4) Earl Grey (Appu) 1; Tierrce 2; Royal Caribbean 3. Not run: Axe (1). Won by: 2-1/2; Hd; (1-29.6). Tote: Win Rs 141; Place: 37; 22; 20; Forecast: 690; Quinella: 175; Tanala: 965 & 357. Fav: Resplendent Star (10).

2. Bhagamandala Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (9-5-8) Cliff Side (A. Imran K.) 1; Selected Star 2; Super Ace 3. Not run: Dad’s Prize (6). Won by: 3-1/4; Nk; (1-17). Tote: Win Rs 30; Place: 14; 64; 81; Forecast: 214; Quinella: 230; Tanala: 2,488 & 1,291. Fav: Cliff Side (9).

3. Kakanakote Plate 1,100m: (7-2-13) Hot Property (Vishwanath) 1; Undercover 2; The King And I 3. Won by: 5; 5-1/4; (1-10.2). Tote: Win Rs 1,429; Place: 198; 21; 16; Forecast: 5,304; Quinella: 632; Tanala: 9,332 & 3,000. Fav: Briscay (1).

4. Panchavati Cup 1,200m: (1-7-10) Royal Western (Shakti) 1; Admiral 2; Austin Jennings 3. Won by: 4-1/4; 4; (1-14.9). Tote: Win Rs 47; Place: 21; 23; 31; Forecast: 265; Quinella: 140; Tanala: 1,149 & 615. Fav: Argentina Express (3).

5. Kelachandra Trophy 1,200m: (2-7-1) Symphony Of Fire (Appu) 1; Tareek 2; Trivia 3. Won by: 2-3/4; 9-1/2; (1-14.6). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 13; 34; Forecast: 43; Quinella: 36; Tanala: 113 & 38. Fav: Symphony Of Fire (2).

6. Amathos Plate 1,600m: (4-1-6) Mr Belvedere (Rajesh) 1; Peace Desire 2; Northern Frontier 3. Won by: 1/2; 7; (1-43.1). Tote: Win Rs 38; Place: 15; 19; 14; Forecast: 162; Quinella: 79; Tanala: 163 & 45. Fav: Northern Frontier (6).

7. Vijayanagar Cup 2,000m: (1-5-4) Golden Goal (Rakesh) 1; Hong Kong Boy 2; Atomic Fusion 3. Won by: SH; 3; (2-11.8). Tote: Win Rs 31; Place: 14; 21; 65; Forecast: 110; Quinella: 52; Tanala: 948 & 542. Fav: Golden Goal (1).

8. Bhagamandala Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (7-5-4) Reigning Sword (Amit) 1; Sassy 2; Abattis 3. Won by: 2-1/2; 4; (1-16.4). Fav: Sniper Fire (2).

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