My conscience is clear: Sachin
PSB, TN XI in title clash
Steve to meet students Friday
Last set of ties a non-starter

Calcutta, April 16 
It’s unfortunate the Hansie Cronje scandal has sparked the settling of scores within both the ICC and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

And, dragged into the intra-BCCI feud (featuring one-time buddies Jagmohan Dalmiya and Inderjit Singh Bindra) has been icon Sachin Tendulkar.

Bindra’s ‘revelation’ that the first-leg India versus New Zealand match during the tri-series in Sharjah, exactly two years ago, was rigged has put Sachin too in the dock.

Why Bindra chose to wait two years before going public, on the TV, may seem a mystery to many but those on the circuit are aware Bindra is using the Cronje scandal to score a point or two at the expense of those who have marginalised him in the BCCI.

According to Bindra, the then Pakistan Cricket Board secretary — it’s difficult remembering who, because there have been so many in recent times — tipped him off that India would score “between 185 and 187” and “four prominent players would throw their wic- kets.”

As it turned out, India scored 181 and New Zealand won with an over to spare. And, yes, “four run outs (actually three)” shocked Bindra.

The needle of suspicion quite clearly points to the then-captain Mohammed Azharuddin, Sachin and Ajay Jadeja. All have good reasons to feel infuriated, but tainting Sachin who, single-handedly, won that tournament is despicable.

Azhar and Jadeja couldn’t be reached for a comment, but Sachin had this to tell The Telegraph tonight: “After ten years of giving more than hundred per cent, I don’t need to dwell on my commitment... My conscience, in any case, is absolutely clear.”

Sachin, who initially didn’t wish to comment at all, added: “I’m not scared of what somebody could be saying now or, what somebody may say tomorrow.”

It’s possible Sachin could speak to the BCCI’s top brass about the latest episode.

Sachin, it may be recalled, was adjudged Player of the Tournament (435 runs, with outstanding back-to-back centuries) during that edition.

So brutal was Sachin’s dominance Shane Warne confessed getting “nightmares.” And, Steve Waugh drew a parallel with Sir Don Bradman.

Sachin himself believes he hasn’t batted better in any one-day competition.

Coming as it did soon after Sachin’s spectacular showing in the (home) Test series against Australia, it placed him on an even higher pedestal.

Incidentally, Sachin’s phenomenal tally of 435 remains a Sharjah record.    

Calcutta, April 16 
Defending champions Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB) will meet Tamil Nadu XI in the final of the 105th Beighton Cup hockey tournament at the Mohun Bagan ground tomorrow.

In the semi-finals today, Tamil Nadu XI saw off a spirited challenge from Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) to win 2-1. The game, carried over from yesterday with the scores tied 1-1, saw Tamil Nadu skipper Prabhakaran score following a penalty corner in the 52th minute. Cedric D’Cruz had scored for TN XI yesterday while Sushil Minz equalised for CLW.

In the other match, PSB edged out Army XI 1-0. The armymen dominated most of the first session but were done in by an intelligent strike from Sandeep Singh Ghuman — one of the senior internationals in the PSB side — in the 47th minute.

The only goal came following a penalty corner. Parminder Singh stopped the push and Rajinder Singh passed it to an unmarked Ghuman, who calmly sounded the board.

PSB, who came into the tournament after winning the K.D. Singh Babu meet in Lucknow, used their experience to hold the Army team at bay. B. Devdas missed a scoring opportunity in the ninth minute when he had a clear opening from the left. Later, J.W. Xalxo could not get his stick to an Avtar Singh hit. Xalxo was again in the thick of action, sending a reverse flick crashing into the sideboard.

K.K. Poonacha, the Army XI international, also missed a chance off a penalty corner.

This is PSB’s 10th final entry in 12 meets this season. They have won six of them and are keen to add the Beighton Cup to the list.

In the first semi-final, played for 28 minutes today, CLW stepped up the pressure towards the end, earning three penalty corners. However, they failed to take advantage of any of them.

Seven-a-side meet

Khalsa Blues defeated CC&FC 1-0 in a Harcharan Singh Baba and Sukhdarshan Singh Memorial seven-a-side hockey meet match today. In another match, Behala SC beat Punjab SC 2-1.    

Calcutta, April 16 
Australian captain Steve Waugh will have an inter-active session with students from city schools at the CCFC grounds Friday. Waugh will largely speak on the predicament of leprosy sufferers.

The session will be organised by the Calcutta Girls Foundation as part of their fund raising programme for the newly built Nivedita House, the girls wing at Udayan. The registration fee will be Rs 200 per child.

Children will have the opportunity to get autographs from Waugh and also get photographed with him. Interested students may contact their schools and/or the following numbers, 247-5429, 282-4472 and 98300-26288    

Calcutta, April 16 
The last set of A.N. Ghosh Trophy matches could not be played today. The umpires in both games — Mohun Bagan versus East Bengal and George Telegraph versus City — declared the grounds unfit for play.

Mohun Bagan and Kalighat have ended with 24 points, followed by Wari (20). The winners (from Mohun Bagan and Kalighat) will be decided on superior quotient.    

Capitulate wins with authority

The five-year-old horse Capitulate treated his seven rivals with utter disregard while winning the 2,800m Byculla Club Trophy, for horses in Class I, the main event at the Mumbai races held on Sunday. Ridden off the pace by apprentice Aaron Fernandes, the Bold Russian-Delahaye son took the charge of running in the home-straight and won by long eight and half lengths. Juggy Dhariwal trained the winner.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Ferrari Stakes 1,200m: (1-2-4) Radiant (Rajendra) 1; Noblest Motive 2; Court Of Appeal 3. Won by: 4-1/2; 7; (1-13.1). Tote: Win Rs 16; Place: 13; 14; Quinella: 24; Tanala: 35. Fav: Radiant (1).

2. Ferial Stakes 1,400m: (1-4-2) Daring Don (Rajendra) 1; Sedona 2; Merry Millennium 3. Won by: Nk; Nk; (1-29). Tote: Win Rs 16; Place: 11; 41; Quinella: 88; Tanala: 235. Fav: Daring Don (1).

3. Daybreak Plate 1,800m: (1-3-4) Twist Afleet (Sandeep) 1; Epic Queen 2; Tall Boy 3. Won by: 1; 1-3/4; (1-55.2). Tote: Win Rs 43; Place: 24; 17; Quinella: 77; Tanala: 220. Fav: Tall Boy (4).

4. Romantic Blaze Plate 1,200m: (7-8-3) Dream Image (Bajrang) 1; Mister Money 2; Satellite 3. Won by: 1-3/4; 3-1/4; (1-14.4). Tote: Win Rs 26; Place: 14; 48; 15; Quinella: 391; Tanala: 1,577. Fav: Dream Image (7).

5. Amrit Parkash Gold Trophy 1,000m: (7-5-8) Arctic Girl (Daniel) 1; Blue Water 2; Star Trader 3. Won by: 3/4; 1; (1-1.8). Tote: Win Rs 108; Place: 32; 21; 24; Quinella: 228; Tanala: 2,532. Fav: Arabian Fighter (1).

6. A. F. S. Talyarkhan Trophy 1,200m: (9-1-10) Deep Blue (R. Pandey) 1; Cryptonite 2; Mariazella 3. Won by: 8-1/2; 3-3/4; (1-13.2). Tote: Win Rs 25; Place: 15; 16; 53; Quinella: 46; Tanala: 786. Fav: Deep Blue (9).

7. Byculla Club Trophy 2,800m: (1-3-5) Capitulate (Aaron) 1; Party Whip 2; Executive Decision 3. Won by: Dist; 2-3/4; (3-1.4). Tote: Win Rs 102; Place: 28; 30; 33; Quinella: 247; Tanala: 2,250. Fav: San Marino Star (8).

8. Cornish Flame Plate 2,000m: (2-5-7) Cocktail (Ajay) 1; Blades Of Fury 2; Enharmonic 3. Not run: The Midnight Sun (3). Won by: 1; Nk; (2-11.8). Tote: Win Rs 45; Place: 23; 26; Quinella: 113; Tanala: 1,985. Fav: Iyanah (1).

Jackpot: Rs 95,209; (C) Rs 3,283.

Treble: (i) Rs 205; (ii) Rs 1,258.    


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