WorldTel out, Zee still in the running
Paes-Siemerink lifts title at Orlando too
East Bengal shocked by BNR
Steel City plans U-19 international tournament
Rupa Ganguly star attraction
8-wkt win for Calcutta CCC

Calcutta, May 8 
WorldTel, which some claim has the “blessings” of International Cricket Council (ICC) president Jagmohan Dalmiya, has been eliminated from telecast-rights’ bidding for the 2003 and 2007 World Cups.

While the 2003 World Cup is being hosted by South Africa, the 2007 edition will be in the West Indies. A first for both.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, WorldTel is among four bidders eliminated in round-I. The three which remain are: World Sports Group (apparently, a high-profile consortium), TWI and here comes a bit of a surprise —- Zee.

While refusing to either confirm or deny the bidders still in contention, the ICC’s finance and marketing committee chairman Ehsan Mani, speaking exclusively, insisted favouritism of any kind “was out of the question.”

Contacted in London, Mani said: “The entire process of negotiation is being overseen by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. To even suggest there could be nepotism, is terribly off the mark.”

Mani endorsed what Dalmiya said last evening: That, as ICC president, he continues to be “actively” associated with the finance and marketing committee, contrary to what was reported by a section of the print Media in England.

The arrangement in the future will, of course, be different. That, however, won’t affect Dalmiya as he relinquishes office in the third week of June.

“Currently, Dalmiya is not only an ex-officio member of the finance and marketing committee, he is on the sub-committee which will approve the recommendation (on telecast rights) to the executive board,” Mani explained.

Incidentally, the executive board is itself chaired by Dalmiya, and the recommendation could be placed by month-end.

The finance and marketing committee comprises Mani, ICC president-elect Malcolm Gray (Australia), Pat Rousseau (West Indies), David Ellman-Brown (Zimbabwe), Stanley Pearlman (Israel, representing the Associates), Dalmiya and ICC chief executive David Richards (both ex-officio members).

The sub-committee has Mani, Dalmiya, Richards and a representative each from South Africa and the West Indies.

Mani clarified Dalmiya and Gray won’t be involved in “direct negotiations only.” As he put it: “They won’t, for instance, sit with lawyers when the nitty-gritty is looked into. But, both will obviously have a voice when matters are placed before the sub-committee.”

It is understood the ICC intends clubbing the multi-million dollar telecast rights for the 2003 and 2007 World Cups.    

Calcutta, May 8 
Doubles supremo Leander Paes notched up ATP Tour title No. 17 yesterday, clinching the $325,000 US Men’s Claycourt Men’s Championship with Jan Siemerink.

According to information received here, the unseeded duo gunned down second seeds Justin Gimelstob and Sebastien Lareau 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the Orlando meet. Paes and left-handed Siemerink, who made the final of a Tour event in The Netherlands last year, had last week won the Bermuda Challenger which gave the Indian his first title this year.

This is only the second time Paes has won a crown sans Bhupathi.

Last July, the Beckbagan resident had triumphed in Aussie Wayne Arthurs’ company at the Hall of Fame tourney in Newport.

Left-handed Arthurs, who partnered Mahesh Bhupathi at the Orlando meet this year, is due to team up with Paes in the European circuit beginning at the Italian Open this week. Bhupathi, meanwhile, will join forces with Bahama’s Mark Knowles in Rome.

It has been a glorious fortnight for Paes and Siemerink. Though the Bermuda meet was a Challenger, it was a fairly strong field. And this week, they did well to subdue two powerful teams — the Woodies in the quarter final and Lareau-Gimelstob in the final.    

Calcutta, May 8 
East Bengal tasted defeat in the BHA League when they lost their first division group A fixture against BNR by a lone goal today.

After three consecutive losses and today’s defeat, East Bengal seem to have lost the momentum they had gathered by winning their first five outings.

The matchwinner came off a field goal by S. Kullu in the 15th minute.

For BNR it was the second big victory in a row. Yesterday, they defeated Mohammedan Sporting 4-1.

In other group A matches today, CESC beat WB Police 2-0, FCI defeated Howrah Union 3-1 and the match between Cust- oms and CPT ended in a 3-3 deadlock.

Ranjan Majhi and Gurjeet Singh were the scorers for CESC. For FCI, Nicotine Nag, Ranjan Lakra and J. Surin sealed the issue, with Kaushik Dey scoring the consolation goal for Howrah Union.

Mukti Toppo scored a hattrick for CPT, while Sunil Seth scored twice and A. P. Thapa completed the tally for Customs.    

Calcutta, May 8 
Indian soccer lovers may soon have something to rejoice in. The Tata sports federation has geared up to bring quality foreign soccer to India. For those who remember the popular Super Soccer meets, it will be another treat, this time with under-19 teams.

Tata Football Academy chief Arun Ghosh — in the city on a rare holiday — told The Telegraph that they have already put forward the proposal to the All-India Football Federation (AIFF). But, the AIFF secretary Kedar Nath Mour had told him that the final decision will be taken only after he returns from a Asian Football Confederation meeting, to be held on May 14-16.

Ghosh said that the tournament has been planned with six teams in mind — either Spain or Germany from Europe, Ghana or Cameroon from Africa, Iran and China from Asia, India and TFA. The meet will be held in Jamshedpur. “If the under-19 meet in a success, then it will be an annual feature and Tata will bear all the costs,” Ghosh added.

Title for Narkeldanga

Narkeldanga Sadharan Samity won the men’s title in the Gupta Memorial table tennis championship at Khudiram Anushilan Kendra. They beat Belgharia AC 3-0 in the final. The junior crown went to ERSA who blanked Narkeldanga 3-0.    

Calcutta, May 8 
The Servo third Kaviguru Rally, to be held on May 13 and 14, will have a different star flavour this year, with actress Rupa Ganguly in the fray. Though Rupa is not new to the sport in the city, by her own admission this is the first time she will participate in a “serious time-speed-distance rally.”

“I will try my best not to let down my sponsors, Officer’s Choice, and the organisers,” a confident Rupa said. And the fact that she has got a brilliant navigator like Bharat J. Aurora will only boost her morale.

“The competition is very tough, and a novice like me may not finish among the top positions. But it will be a very serious try from my side,” said Rupa, adding mischievously that Bharat won’t take it lightly if they lost.

And in a more serious tone she said that in this kind of a rally it is the navigator who should actually get the credit.

Rupa, related to top rallyist Mitil Chakraborty, has picked up a few tips from him, including the modifications that is being done on her Maruti Esteem.

And whatever may be the outcome of the rally, to be held over the weekend, one thing was clear. Rupa was as confident behind the wheels as she is in front of the camera.    

Calcutta, May 8 
Calcutta Cricket Coaching Centre thrashed Subhash Nagar CA by eight wickets in their Ambar Roy memorial tournament match today.

Under-16 meet

Calcutta Boys’ School (CBS) were among the schools identified today as having reached the quarter finals of the Milo Cup under-16 inter-schol cricket meet from group D.

The others schools making it to the last eight grade are Nava Nalanda, Naktala HS and National HS. South Point have already made the grade.

Nava Nalanda’s Abhisek Dutta scored an unbeaten 107.

Today CBS earned an emphatic seven-wicket verdict over Cathdral Mission, Nava Nalanda hammered Tiljala HS by 120 runs, Naktala beat Jadavpur HS by 38 runs and National pipped Ballygunge Govt. by 18 runs.    


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