Speculations have clouded match-fixing issue
CLW favourites
Alvarada may strike today

It was the ultimate irony. The day before the Asia XI versus Rest of World XI match to celebrate the ICC Cricket Week was played came the announcement by the Delhi police that they had filed a FIR against the South African captain Hansie Cronje and some of his teammates for aiding bookmakers in fixing matches.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has been trying to globalise the game, but this revelation puts a dampner on that. It has also created a ticklish situation as the relations between two friendly governments will be under strain and so hopefully every precaution will be taken to have a thorough and proper investigation also that nobody will have the opportunity to caste aspersions on our investigative agencies.

Remember, there are people overseas who are waiting for a chance to show India in a bad light as was sought to be done before both the 1987 and 1996 World Cups. But the near flawless organisation of those events proved that efficiency is not restricted to the developed countries.

Unfortunately, there is a tendency among developed countries to believe that less developed countries have less integrity than their own. This comes with the arrogance of the West that the poor, because of his situation, cannot have honesty. Come to think of it, even we, who have domestic help, are often guilty of a similar thought pattern. Whenever a valuable item is missing from our homes, we evidently tend to point a finger at the domestic helps, no matter how many years they have spent with us.

Thus it is important that every care is taken so that there is no chance to doubt our investigative agencies. Even if the investigation is slow, it does not matter as long as it is thorough, for there are reputations built over years which are at stake here.

This has to be said after the way investigations were conducted when Manoj Prabhakar revealed in 1997 that a teammate had approached him to play at less than his best. Prabhakar said then, and subsequently, that he brought it to the notice of the then team management. But, till now, nobody has tried to find out whether the management was really informed.

What is the team management? It is a loose term for the manager (a Board official) of the team, the coach, the captain and the vice-captain while the team is on a tour.

So the question to be asked is whether Prabhakar brought it to the notice of the entire team management or individual members of the management. If it was the former then it automatically rules out Azharuddin and Tendulkar as the ‘approacher’.

But if Prabhakar revealed all to an individual member, then it will boil down to Prabhakar’s word against the individual’s. The Board should get Prabhakar and the team management together and find out exactly what was said and to whom.

This simple procedure has not been followed as people have tried to come to their own conclusions as to who could have approached Prabhakar. Here too, depending on likes and dislikes, names have been mentioned (not publicly) and thus character assassination has taken place instead of finding the facts.

Prabhakar was a 100 per cent player. But in this instance he has been less than that.

While it is understandable that he has his reasons for not naming the players, he could give some hint — whether the player was tall, short, bearded, moustachioed, slim, fat or some such just as a former commissioner of income tax had done saying that a recent former captain has declared Rs 16 crore in the VDIS scheme.

Thank god for that or else every living former captain, from Lala Amarnath onwards, would have come under the hammer. Here too the speculation had been unbelievable and no patience shown to find out who actually made the voluntary disclosure.

In the frenzy to scoop others, words have been put into peoples’ mouths and statements have been misinterpreted. Less than 100 per cent commitment to the truth is part of life today.

As written in the previous column, if a player is found guilty of fixing matches his name should be erased from the record books — every single statistics, runs scored, wickets taken and even catches taken. That too at all levels of cricket.

It should be as if the player never ever played a game of cricket. Apart from that he should face punishment according to the law of the land.

At the same time, cricketers who falsely accuse others should be treated in the same way. After all if they try to tarnish somebody else’s hard-earned name then they should be prepared to face the consequences.

Cricket has changed over the years, but who would have dreamt that the ‘game’ would have changed the way it has!

This column was written before Hansie Cronje admitted not being “entirely honest” about match-fixing allegations.

Professional Management Group    

Calcutta, April 14 
Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) have perhaps surprised even themselves by reaching the semi-finals of the Servo 105th Beighton Cup at the expense of Indian Airlines. Entering the quarter finals after fighting their way through the qualifiers, CLW delivered the stunning punch by upsetting Indian Airlines 3-2.

The verdict was a show of the tribal talent that is evident in the CLW line-up. In fact, this result ultimately led to the premature exit of strong contenders Indian Airlines, who had a number of stalwarts in their ranks.

Tomorrow, when CLW take on Tamil Nadu XI in the semi-finals, they will surely start as favourites. CLW finished second to Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB) in group A, after losing to CISF in their last quarter final league match. Sushil Minz and Petrus Topno have been in good form and are capable of keeping the Tamil Nadu defence on their toes. Tamil Nadu XI topped group B.

The team from the south will bank on its experience which has taken it to the semi-finals. Of course, they will also draw confidence from their 4-2 win over Army XI, who eventually finished runners-up in the group.

The other semi final between PSB and Army XI has the former team as the favourites. The defending champions from Punjab are yet to lose a match. They beat CISF, drew with CLW and Indian Airlines. With nine present and past India players in the side, PSB do not lack in experience. The likes of Ram Saran, Bhupinder Singh Hayer and Sandeep Kumar Dhang can create problems for Army XI.

BHA League

The first division group A match between ERSA and BSF (South) had to be called off as the latter failed to turn up on time. The BSF squad did arrive later and pleaded that they were stuck on the way from their station in Kalyani. The BHA sub-committee will consider the BSF plea for the match to be played on a later date only if they give a written request, citing the reason for the delay.

In a first division group B match played at the East Bengal ground today, Aryan were held 2-2 by Punjab Sporting Club. Satish Kumar scored both goals for Aryan while Balwinder Singh and Harminder Singh struck for Punjab SC. Aryan, however, qualified for group A next season.

Mohun Bagan is not too happy with sponsors UB Group’s decision to have a pact between the club and East Bengal regarding transfer of players and have even threatened to terminate the deal.

Swapan Sadhan Bose, the club president who is currently undergoing treatment in London, said in a press release that the decision will be detrimental for football.    

Calcutta, April 14 
An impressive third in her previous start, the Vijay Singh-trained Alvarada may be hard to toss in the CROS Trophy tomorrow.

Read as: Horse number, last four runs, horse name, trainer, jockey, weight & draw:

Polish Handicap 1,200m (Cl V—Rt. 00-28)

1 0000 Art Smart [Karki] E. Smith 61.0 6

2 0024 Tequila Shot [Stephens] S. Shanker 60.0 2

3 0002 Infierno [Stephens] Afzal K. 59.0 1

4 3004 Go India Go [Jaiswal] I. Chisty 51.5 4

5 0340 Knight Charmer [Jaiswal] A. Razzak 51.0 5

6 0004 Zingari [Stephens] Md Amil 47.5 3

1. tequila shot (2) 2. Infierno (3) 3. knight charmer (5)

Tequila Shot: Good at weights. Infierno: Looking fit. Knight Charmer: May upset.

Soultline Handicap 1,400m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) — Indian jockeys only

1 3310 Bul Bul [Goenka] N. Engineer 61.0 7

2 3314 Aristotemus [R. Shaw] Amjad K. 60.0 2

3 4032 Swingtime [Jaiswal] I. Chisty 57.5 6

4 3302 Kinkozan [Goenka] P. Alford 57.0 4

5 ---- Classy Twist [David] C. Alford 56.0 5

6 0232 Double Dancer [Javed] M. Reuben 55.5 3

7 - 000 Solid Gold [Jaiswal] Som S. 47.0 1

1. kinkozan (4) 2. bul bul (1) 3. double dancer (6)

Kinkozan: May contest the issue again. Bul Bul: Was unlucky in her last run.

Bookmaker’s Association Cup 1,400m (Cl IV, Rt. 22-50) — Indian jockeys only

1 0212 Prince Of War [R. Alford] Rutherford A. 61.0 2

2 0010 Scavenger’s Son [David] M. Reuben 60.0 1

3 3200 Silver Raising [Javed] N. Akhtar 58.5 3

4 1420 Crown Prince [Goneka] P. Alford 57.0 9

5 4340 Charlene [Bharath] S. Rabani 55.5 7

6 0000 Royal Ruler [R. Alford] B. Gurang 54.5 5

7 0234 Friendly Knight [Jaiswal] I. Chisty 54.5 11

8 3440 Imperial Choice [Stephens] S. Shanker 54.5 13

9 4330 Assyrian [Vijay] Surender S. 54.0 10

10 0312 Supreme Desire [David] A. P. Singh 53.0 8

11 - - - 1 Flying Power [Mujeeb] Manohar S. 53.0 4

12 0000 Constantine [Karki] E. Smith 51.0 12

13 1333 Rheinheart [Bath] Md Amil 49.5 6

1. flying power (11) 2. scavenger’s son (2) 3. friendly knight(7)

Flying Power: May repeat last winning effort. Scavenger’s Son: Improving.

Madras Race Club Trophy 1,200m (Cl II—Rt. 66-94)

1 0000 Quickdraw McGraw [R. Alford] Rutherford A. 60.0 6

2 2131 Amarante [Vijay] Md Islam 58.0 1

3 2434 Absolve [David] Md Amil 57.5 3

4 1140 Alsadena [Bharath] C. Alford 57.5 5

5 0230 Char Bahar [Karki] E. Smith 56.5 2

6 0043 Optimum Choice [R. Alford] R. Gowli 55.5 4

7 0040 Cyber Freak [Javed] N. Akhtar 54.5 7

1. alsadena (4) 2. optimum choice (6) 3. char bahar (5)

Alsadena: Hot-footed. Optimum Choice: Brilliant at work. Char Bahar: May place.

Cros Trophy 1,200m (Handicap, for maidens 3-y-o only—Rt. 00-50)

1 - - -2 On The Bit [Stephens] G. Upadhya 60.0 11

2 - - -4 Lockers Park [Bharath] Md. Islam 59.5 7

3 - - -3 Alvarada [Vijay] C. Alford 59.0 14

4 - 003 Ballet Master [R. Alford] R. Gowli 58.0 15

5 - - -0 Strictly Royal [Bath] Haroon K. 58.0 4

6 ---- Slice Of Life [Bharath] Brij S. 58.0 13

7 - - -0 Software [Bath] S. Shanker 57.0 12

8 - - -0 Prizren [Javed] M. Reuben 57.0 2

9 - -00 Orbital Star [R. Alford] P. Alford 56.5 10

10 -- 00 Aeolian [Bharath] A. P. Singh 56.5 3

11 - - -0 Three Good [Bharath] Surender S. 56.5 5

12 - -00 Anntari [Bharath] S. Rabani 56.5 9

13 - - -0 Private Lives [Bharath] N. Engineer 56.5 8

14 - 000 No Regrets [Javed] Manohar S. 56.0 6

15 - - -0 Relative Shade [R. Alford] K. Kumar 55.0 1

1. Alvarada (3) 2. ballet master (4) 3. On the bit (1)

Alvarada: Needed her last run. Ballet Master: Looking improved with blinkers.

Delhi Race Club Cup 1,100m (Cl IV—Rt. 22-50) — Indian jockeys only

1 - 010 Auctioneer [Vijay] C. Alford 60.5 2

2 0040 Rule With Honour [Javed] N. Akhtar 59.0 1

3 0240 Heaven’s Blessing [Bath] N. Engineer 58.5 7

4 0102 Jayaashva [Jaiswal] A. Razzak 58.0 10

5 3144 Analyzer [David] A. P. Singh 57.0 3

6 0000 Alkido [Vijay] Surender S. 56.0 4

7 4333 Aflicker [Bharath] Md Islam 55.0 5

8 0000 Floral Path [Bath] Rutherford A. 52.5 9

9 4003 Arizona Star [Mujeeb] Sher S. 52.5 6

10 0030 Work Order [Mujeeb] Haroon K. 51.5 8

11 2330 Crest Star [Goenka] S. Tamang 50.5 11

1. aflicker (7) 2. auctioneer (1) 3. work order (10)

Aflicker: May improve on her good third. Auctioneer: Very impressive in trials.

Right Ahead Handicap 1,400m (Cl III—Rt. 44-72)

1 0323 Citadel [Bharath] Md Islam 60.0 10

2 1323 High Life [Bharath] S. Rabani 56.0 7

3 0300 Swash Buckler [Rodrigues] G. Upadhya 55.5 5

4 0030 Sky Hawk [Mujeeb] Haroon K. 55.0 9

5 - - 10 Anolini late Always Up [Vijay] C. Alford 54.5 6

6 4010 Giltedge [R. Alford] Rutherford A. 53.5 12

7 0340 Scimitar [Mujeeb] Sher S. 52.5 1

8 4231 Storm Centre [P. Locke] N. Engineer 52.0 2

9 4000 American [R. Alford] S. Tamang 50.0 3

10 2130 Go With The Wind [R. Alford] R. Gowli 50.0 11

11 1210 Persuasion [Bharath] M. Reuben 49.5 4

12 2300 Master Charlie [Rodrigues] Brij S. 47.5 8

1. citadel (1) 2. anolini (5) 3. high life (2)

Citadel: Knocking at the door. Anolini: Looking fit. High Life: May surprise.

Day’s Best: Tequila Shot Double: Kinkozan & Alvarada    


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