Nayeem named EB coach
Indian opening on the Net
Naresh wants Fazal in doubles
Slower delivery takes lot of practice
Thapa’s brace in Customs victory
41-run win for East Bengal
Suratha for main event
Nine to vie for Thursday’s card

 
 
NAYEEM NAMED EB COACH 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, April 4 
The Dronacharya is back in business. Syed Nayeemuddin was today named coach of East Bengal for the forthcoming football season. The decision was taken at a meeting of top club officials held at the president’s office.

Nayeem’s appointment puts to rest speculation centering around him and T.K. Chathunni since Subhas Bhowmick decided to quit the post after the conclusion of the National League. According to a club official, Amal Dutta’s name was also discussed at the meeting.

“Some of the terms and conditions set by Chathunni were not acceptable to the club. Hence we decided to have Nayeem as the coach,” explained assistant secretary Dipak Das.

Nayeem was in charge of Mohun Bagan till the end of local league last season after which the club decided to take him off.

Nayeem felt it was a “great honour” to be back with East Bengal. “I’m grateful to the officials for restoring faith in me. It has given me a new lease of life,” he said.

He is planning to be present at Thrissur for the Santosh Trophy to take a look at the available players for recruitment. Though unwilling to disclore the names, he has asked the club for certain players in specific positions.

“I wish to retain the nucleus of the team while making a few changes,” he said.

“I want to ensure that the problems that dogged the side this season does not crop up again. I want to prepare the players both mentally and physically for the toughest tests that lie ahead,” he added.

The club has promised him “full freedom and support” in his day-to-day activities. It may be recalled that Bhowmick had alleged that a section of the officials regularly interfered with the team’s functioning.

The club, meanwhile, has decided to seek an explanation from Bhowmick regarding the allegations.

Bhowmick never sent a formal resignation letter since he did not have a written contract with the club, according to the assistant secretary.    


 
 
INDIAN OPENING ON THE NET 
 
 
BY SUJIT BHAR
 
Calcutta, April 4 
The resounding success of world champion Garri Kasparov’s organising of serious chess tournaments over the Internet has bought worldwide interest. Now India’s famed computer technocrats and its strong chess-playing fraternity have come together to give the country the lead in putting its national chess championship on the Net. The idea taking shape could make the country lead the Fide nations in techno-chess.

The world chess body Fide is thinking in terms of a world championship over the Internet, and some details are expected to be hammered out in Fide’s presidential meeting in London on May 12 and 13. Mr P. T. Ummer Koya, Fide vice-president and All India Chess Federation (AICF) secretary, will be at the London meeting, and he says this should be a landmark meeting, yielding a landmark decision.

The AICF, though, seems to have moved a step further already. “When I was in Istanbul, I was approached by a friend in the world’s most famous and wildly popular Internet chess portal (of Kasparov), Clubkasparov, and he was forthright in making a $10,000-$ 15,000 offer for an Internet tournament in India,” Ummer Koya, in the city on way to the Jamshedpur under-18 nationals, said today. Clubkasparov’s server is in Israel. “An offer is also on from another US-based company,” he said.

Ummer Koya is yet to decide, but meanwhile he has already had a talk with an Indian computer firm for sponsorship. “The age will be of Internet rights, coming off TV rights, and chess will be the first sport in the country to it,” said he. “Wipro has offered technology help and has made sponsorship offers, and we will take a decision soon.” The AICF, it seems, is looking at a figure of around $ 25,000.

How will the regular national meets be affected? “This year’s nationals will not be affected at all,” he said. “Even next year, the nationals (A and B) will be scheduled, with the Internet version being a parallel national championship circuit altogether. If it proves successful, we might simply scrap the existing nationals format.”

Easier said that done, though. Ummer Koya believes he could keep the participation open, but that could create massive technological and logistical problems for the host server and for the webmaster. Recent experience in Kasparov playing simultaneous chess with enthusiasts from around the world was a nightmare. Too many people logged in at the same time, pushing hit rates to nearly a million a minute, and the server maintained by Microsoft (partners in the novel venture) crashed. That apart, there was the more serious problem of vote stuffing, but that is a different story.

There is also the problem of poor connectivity and niggardly bandwidths. However, relevant technology upgrades could be available by then, believes Ummer Koya.

This means the Internet nationals could be restricted to the over 700 Fide-rated players the country has, plus some invitees.

What about the funding process? “The money should not be a problem,” said Ummer Koya. “For example, this Israeli offer (Clubkasparov) throws in two free banner spaces for the AICF. Our federation can let these out to profit.”

Big gains is not a long shot, with Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand being probably the top-earning Indian sportsperson ever.

The AICF is aiming for the chess Olympiad, “though we’d want to hold it in the regular, old-fashioned format. That has a charm of its own.” This year the Olympiad is in Istanbul, in 2002 in Slovenia. India are looking towards the 2004 edition.

The ultimate idea probably will be for chess players to push their ELO ratings through Internet meets. That is not yet possible.

“By 2002 we expect to have a dozen Grandmasters, which should be a good percentage of the world Grandmasters, and we could adjust our nationals (on the Net) in such a way that the ratings benefit can be passed on.” In chess, your ratings growth is commensurate with the ratings of the players you meet. If the average rating of a meet is high, you reap big dividends.

Grey cells in the infotech world are already at work devising methods that might allow this.    


 
 
NARESH WANTS FAZAL IN DOUBLES 
 
 
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
 
New Delhi, April 4 
Former Davis Cup player and captain Naresh Kumar, who arrived here today to watch the Davis Cup match between India and South Korea beginning Friday, felt Calcutta’s Syed Fazaluddin should be fielded in the doubles along with Leander Paes.

Naresh feels that Fazaluddin is a more confident player now. He added that Fazaluddin, India’s No. 2 singles player, has improved a lot, especially in service and shot selection. He hopes that Fazaluddin will display adequate maturity and clinch a permanent spot in the Indian Davis Cup squad. Naresh said that Fazaluddin should be fielded in doubles also.

There are some people in the Indian camp who think that Delhi’s 24-year-old Vishal Uppal should be tried out as Leander’s doubles partner. Vishal is comfortable on grass and serves and volleys well.

At present, Ramesh is willing to play safe and may opt for Fazal in the doubles. However, Ramesh did add that he was yet to finalise the doubles pairing. He said he would decide on Leander’s partner after the first day. He thinks a lot will depend on Fazal’s confidence level after his first singles match.

Commenting on the outcome of the tie, Naresh said it would be a close match. “But India will have the advantage because of the grass courts.”

Naresh praised the Koreans’ fitness and tenacity. However, he felt that a week’s preparation on grass is inadequate. He added that a feel of the ball on grass, low bounce and the need to volley comes instinctively to a natural grass-court player.

Naresh also felt that conserving energy and ability to pace themselves will be crucial factors in the outcome of this tie. He recalled Croatia’s Goran Ivanisevic losing his composure in the heat of September in 1995 here and losing the vital reverse singles to Leander.

The Indian squad had two intensive training sessions today. Taking a break from the rigours of tennis, the squad played cricket with a tennis ball. The Koreans also trained diligently and in the afternoon, warmed up by volleying a football over the net.

Naresh is confident about Syed Fazaluddin’s chances after watching him win the grass court nationals recently in Calcutta.The Koreans have minor injury worries. Yong Ill Yoon, the reigning Asian Games champion had to pull out midway from a Futures event in Japan due to a stomach ailment.

Yoon has a very good temperament and was a silver medallist in Singles in the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima. He was also a member of the Korean squad which won the men’s team event gold medal at the 1998 Bangkok Asiad. Coach Kim Bang Soo is confident that Yoon has fully recovered and said he showed good form during the week-long practice session in Malaysia. Earlier this season, Yoon had won a Futures meet in Japan.

The Korean coach also said that their No. 1 player, the 24-year-old Hyung Taik Lee, has fully recovered from a shoulder injury.

Coach Kim Bong Soo was a member of the South Korean squads which beat India in the Davis Cup matches in Bharuch in 1989 and in Seoul a year later.

He felt that the heat and grass of Delhi would not make much of a difference to the result. The Korean camp is drawing inspiration from the fact that Mahesh Bhupathi will not be around.

They feel their superior fitness and spirit will enable them to win the crucial doubles and clinch the Asia-Oceania Group 1 Davis Cup tie against India. If they win, it will be Korea’s fifth triumph against India in seven ties.    


 
 
SLOWER DELIVERY TAKES LOT OF PRACTICE 
 
 
BY RAVI SHASTRI
 
 
I am a leg-spinner but find it difficult to bowl a googly. Will it be okay if I bowl an off-break in between as a variation?

(Joseph Ipe, 15, Nagpur)

Keep practising on how you can get your googly right, it comes out of the back of the hand. And remember if you do get it right and you can still bowl an off-break it’s an extra string to your bow.

I am a medium-pacer but I cannot bowl the outswinger. Is something wrong with my action?

(Rajgopal Dey, 18, Midnapore)

Definitely. Probably, you are too open-chested at the time of delivery. Having said that, there are bowlers with open-chested actions who can bowl out-swing. Debashish Mohanty is an example. So check your grip.

I am an off-spinner. Where should I pitch the ball for a left-handed batsman?

(Aloke Dutta, 14, Shillong)

Ideally, bowling over the wicket, your line should be middle and leg. And if you are coming round the wicket on a good track, bowl off stump or outside. On a turning track, middle and leg is fine.

I am a medium-pacer but struggle with direction when bowling the slower one. Please advise.

(Rajorshi Das, 12, South 24 Parganas)

Slower delivery takes a lot of practice. It has to come out of the hand right. Make sure you are watching the spot where you want your slower one to land.

I am a right-arm medium-pacer. Should I do weight-training to increase my pace?

(Manash Bora, 16, Guwahati)

First of all, check your action. And if you are happy with that, then consult a good physio to advise you on the same. Andrew Leipus will be a good bet.

I am a right-arm medium-pacer. Whenever I bowl round the wicket, my follow-through often leads me in front of the stumps. Is it okay?

(Niraj Kheria, 16, Salt Lake, Calcutta-64).

No, it’s not okay.

I have problems facing bouncers and often get hit. Please advise.

(Rupam Shome, 17, Shillong; Ajit Singh, 15, Gomia)

You are not watching the ball as closely as you should.

How can one improve running between the wickets?

(Subir Das, 12, Rajkot)

You’ve got to get the basics right. Understanding with your partner has to be good, the calling has to be loud and clear. The more you play, the better you get because at times subtle glances at your partner are good enough. But don’t forget that the first run, irrespective of where the ball goes, has to be run hard especially in one-day cricket.

I am a right-hander. What should be the position of my body while playing the ball on and around the off stump? Secondly, when I try to play the ball over the bowler’s head, the ball is air-borne on the off-side. Where lies the problem?

(Amikar Jha, 14, Dhanbad)

Top-class players have different positions when they address a ball on off stump. It only goes to show there are no fixed positions. The key is, keeping a still head and watching the ball very closely. When you do that, it makes a huge diifference to your footwork.

For the second problem, check your grip. You are obviously not offering the full face of the bat at the time of contact.

I constantly get bowled by yorkers. Why does this happen?

(Balaaji M., 9, Durgapur)

You obviously have a high backlift and try to hit the ball too hard.

How should a left-hander play an off-spinner?

(Neyaz Ahmed, 13, Calcutta-24)

Occupy the crease, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable as to what shots you can play.

I am a right-hander and face problems when a pacer gets the ball to come into me. What is the solution?

(Utsav De, 13, Calcutta-32)

You’re too closed in your stance. You just need to open out a bit.

I am a right-hander but whenever I try to play the pull, I end up scooping the ball to mid-wicket or square-leg. Please advise.

(Naveed Majid Ahmed, 11, Calcutta-16)

You are not in good position to play the shot, the reason being you’re not picking the right length.

I fail to judge the length of the ball when playing off the front foot. Please help.

(Rakesh Agarwal, 18, Assam)

You are playing at deliveries off front foot which you should be playing off the back foot. Therein lies your problem.    


 
 
THAPA’S BRACE IN CUSTOMS VICTORY 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, April 4 
A.P. Thapa’s brace helped Calcutta Customs beat Entally Athletics Club 3-1 in a Beighton Cup match at the East Bengal ground today. In another match at CCFC, SAI Training Centre, helped by Atal Tirkey’s double strike, beat CESC 3-0.

Although the score-line might indicate otherwise, the Customs-Entally match was never a one-sided affair. Thapa opened the scoring with a field goal in the sixth minute. Repeated attacks after that failed to yield results as the gritty Entally side was not ready to concede even an inch to Customs. In the 46th minute, Entally equalised through Mohammad Imran Khan.

However, it did not take Customs long to regain the lead as 11 minutes later, Sailesh Yadav scored following a penalty corner. The match had slipped out of Entally’s grasp by then and when Thapa consolidated Customs’ lead in the 66th minute, the game was as good as over.

In the second match of the day, SAI Training Centre did not give too many opportunities to CESC. However, SAI had to wait till the 34th minute to forge ahead with Atal Tirkey scoring a field goal. It was Tirkey again in the 58th minute, consolidating his team’s lead after dribbling past the CESC defenders. Manoj Kujur struck home the final nail following a penalty corner in the 60th minute of the game.

BHA League

Calcutta Rangers Club beat Punjab S.C 2-0 in a first division group B match of the BHA League at the East Bengal ground. Skipper Barry Savial scored the first goal for Rangers and B. Bhar added to the tally. In a second division match, Vivid scored a solitary goal win over Aikya Sammilani.    


 
 
41-RUN WIN FOR EAST BENGAL 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, April 4 
Sanjib Sanyal’s all-round show went in vain as George Telegraph lost to East Bengal by 41 runs in the A.N. Ghosh meet today.

Batting first, Abhijit Chatterjee (60) and Gautam Shome (49) helped East Bengal notch up 240 for seven in the stipulated 45 overs. George were restricted to 199 for seven in 45 overs. Sanyal took three for 34 and scored 39 runs.

In another tie, City AC coasted to a six-wicket win over Barisha Sporting. Pritam Ghosh top scored with 52 for the winners.

Kalighat entered the semi-final of the J.C. Mukherjee meet. In the concluding day of the quarter final, they beat Wari by 105 runs. Debendra Roy did the star turn with a six-wicket haul.    


 
 
SURATHA FOR MAIN EVENT 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
 
The Nirad Karanjawall -trained Suratha is expected to lift the 1,400 Mansoor Beg Trophy, the main attraction in Wednesday’s Mumbai race-card. Bhagwat partners the three -year-old filly by Broto-Queen Of The Mint .

SELECTIONS

4 pm: Suratha 1. Mambo King 2. Reflecting 3.

4.30 pm: Soul Mate 1. Lumiere 2. Amber Eyes 3.

5 pm: Yewall 1. Rich Babe 2. Grand Vazir 3.

5.30 pm: Cristina 1. Midnight Charm 2. Flying Home 3.

5.55 pm: Time To Gamble 1. Jizo Bosatsu 2. Warm Glow 3.

6.35 pm: Asprilla 1. Timeless Appeal 2. Sugar Daddy 3.

Day’s Best:Cristina Double: Soul Mate & Time To Gamble    


 
 
NINE TO VIE FOR THURSDAY’S CARD 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, April 4 
The are nine horses in the line-up for the 1,400m R. W. I. C. T. Trophy, on Thursday race-card. First race starts at 1. 15 pm.

ACCEPTANCES

1. Cradle Of The Deep Handicap 1,200m (Cl IV, Rt. 22-50) 1.15 pm: As You Please 60; Hurricane Star 60; Marimba 60; Royal Ruler 58; Ironstone 56.5; Arizona Star 54.

2. Dashmesh & Hargobind Stud Grand Annual Handicap 1,600m (Handicap, 3-y-o only) 1.50 pm: Ashbury 60; Allaying 59.5; Alvarada 55; The Stud 54; Atacada 54; Ballard Lady 53.5.

3. Cally Handicap 1,200m (Cl III, Rt. 44-72) 2.30 pm: Defiance 60; Swash Buckler 60; Sky Hawk 58.5; Consul’s Secret 58; Mameena 58; Mountain Memory 56; Freeatlast 56; Abstract 52.5.

4. Cavalry Cup 1,400m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) 3.05 pm: Bul Bul 61; Aristotemus 60; Avionic 59; Kinkozan 55; Magic Ring 54.5; Queen’s Theatre 47.

5. Hyderabad Race Club Trophy 1,600m (Cl IV, Rt.00-50) 3.40 pm: Prince Of War 60; Sterling Prospect 58.5; Imperial Choice 57.5; Single Dawn 54.5; Global Harmony 54.5; Rheinheart 49.

6. R. W. I. T. C. Trophy 1,400m (Cl I, Rt. 88 & over) 4.15 pm: Tanganyika 60; Adventure 54.5; Acquest 53.5; Arlington 53; Giorgio 52.5; Mystic Hill 52; Head Hunter 51; Bold Invader 50; Quickdraw McGraw 48.

7. Combined Operations Handicap 1,200m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) 4.50 pm: Armed Alarm 60; Swingtime 56; Armila 53; Tribal Warlord 50.5; Dizzy Diver 49. Zingari 47.5.

Jackpot: 3; 4; 5; 6 & 7.

Treble: (i) 2; 3 & 4; (ii) 5; 6 & 7.    

 

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