India reserve option for days of rest
I went through hell, now I want to move on in life
Nath upsets Sewa
Mukherjee, Kapur, Sahney emerge winners
I went through hell, now I want to move on in life

 
 
INDIA RESERVE OPTION FOR DAYS OF REST 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Dhaka, May 28: 
The Indian team will ďfavourablyĒ consider a formal request from the Pepsi Asia Cup hosts, Bangladesh, to treat rest days as reserve days.

The rest days in question are May 31 (after Tuesdayís India-Bangladesh match) and June 4 (after the India versus Pakistan game).

ďIíve already been approached, unofficially, but thereís nothing official as yet. As the organisers have been hard hit by the elements, I think we are obliged to help them in every way possible,Ē informed manager Samiran Chakraborty.

The tournament was to have got underway today itself, but incessant rain from early this morning ó- not to speak of yesterdayís damage ó- ruled out any play. In fact, umpires Srinivas Venkatraghavan and Salim Badar, as also Match Referee John Reid, took this decision as early as 11.00 am.

So, the Sri Lanka-Bangladesh opener has been re-scheduled for tomorrow which, originally, was a rest day. Fortunately, it hasnít rained from the afternoon but, even then, chances of a scheduled 2.30 pm (2.00 IST) start are slim.

Rain late tonight or early tomorrow will, of course, alter equations yet again. Absolutely no play will work to Bangladeshís advantage as the two points will be shared.

Should points actually be collected in that manner, edition No.7 of the Asia Cup may throw up a surprise even more nasty than the weather.    


 
 
I WENT THROUGH HELL, NOW I WANT TO MOVE ON IN LIFE 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Dhaka, May 28: 
Aamer Sohail, a former Pakistan captain, is one of those who stands vindicated with the Justice Malik Muhammad Qayyum report. Sohail, who is here as part of the TV commentary team, spoke to The Telegraph for a good 45 minutes this morning. He was, typically, very forthcoming on just about everything.

Following are excerpts

On the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) banning Salim Malik and Ata-ur Rehman for life

Itís a courageous move, though I wouldnít like to specifically comment on whether itís good to ban somebody for life... The allegations and counter-allegations had been in the air for quite some time... That part had to end and it has. However, for everybody, not just the PCB, that end is actually the starting point, too. Itís up to the administrators to carry on from there.

On the impression that the bans really donít mean much óMalik is, in any case, at the end of his career, while Rehman never quite had one

But, isnít the principle more important? In any case, an example has been set; a precedent created.

On whether, having repeatedly called for moves to cleanse cricket in Pakistan, he stands vindicated

Well, whatever Rashid (Latif) and I feared and suspected turned out to be true. We only raised a demand because we love the game, not because of ulterior motives. I am, therefore, happy. Remember, whenever somebody is picked to represent his country, a trust is placed on him. That trust just canít be betrayed. Itís this betrayal which got to me and Rashid...

It was unfair for people to question every defeat and attribute motives, but they did so because of the allegations... A stop had to be put; people had to be reminded cricket is for gentlemen.

On whether recommending fines ó the Justice Qayyum-prescribed penalty for Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Saeed Anwar, Mushtaq Ahmed and Akram Raza ó is at all meaningful in an era when cricketers make such a tidy packet

Fines, too, are a manner of punishment. Also, the person at the receiving end gets embarrassed. One way of looking at it is that the fines could be a starting point...

On whether, considering all the allegations, Akram got away lightly

Justice Qayyum is better-placed to answer that.

On his first thoughts when the Justice Qayyum report was made public

(Grins) I was, obviously, very satisfied... Itís like this ó I had put so much at stake, had suffered, made the family suffer as well... I could only have had that feeling of satisfaction.

On whether his Ďclean-Pakistan-cricketí stand led to his isolation

I knew what I was getting into... I weighed the pluses and minuses before taking the stand I took. But, yes, I went through hell and, in the process, also put the family under so much pressure. Now that itís all over, I want to move on in life and expect the authorities to get the game moving, too. Itís cricket, not individuals, which has suffered.

On whether he was ever threatened

I was, yes... People who wouldnít identify themselves called. At no time, though, was I scared.

On his impressions of Justice Qayyum

He did a thorough job but could, perhaps, have done with some more time. However, Iím disappointed the learned judge didnít allow me to cross-examine Rehman who, in his last retraction, claimed I forced him to give an anti-Akram affidavit. Had I been given the opportunity, like so many others, Iím sure things could have been very different.

On having been approached by an Indian player, on behalf of a bookie(s), during that infamous 1994 Singer Cup in Colombo

(Interrupting) I donít wish to talk about it... Basically, it will come down to my word against his... Iíll not be able to prove anything.

On whether he will cooperate with the CBI, if required

Like Iíve said, I wouldnít like to get involved... Let the authorities themselves continue with investigations. Today, frankly, Iím through with this sorry business of match-fixing allegations... I want to get on with life, would like to enjoy life. Iíve already suffered enough.

On Manoj Prabhakarís allegation against Kapil Dev

Itís disappointing that such a great cricketer, a complete player, has got involved in this... Kapil always had time for those who approached him, always came through as being nice.

On Kapil being identified, six years after the incident, as the one who allegedly offered the bribe

Perhaps, Prabhakar wanted to be assured of some support... Difficult to say.

On Hansie Cronje being at the centre of a huge scandal

Again, very disappointing... So many looked up to him as a role model...

On why cricketers get induced even though their earnings are handsome

I donít agree that all cricketers earn big sums. Indeed, usually, endorsements only come the way of the top two-three players. The rest, who have to do with match fees, could well get tempted... Frustration may have set in...

I do feel all Boards should have cricketers on contract, whereby even those who donít get selected, are assured of a monthly salary. I also believe the prize money in tournaments must be hiked. If it is to be shared within the team, a victory worth even $100,000 will result in the boys getting next to nothing. Again, I do feel the ICC should standardise match fees across the globe. In my opinion, there shouldnít be any disparity.

On the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) deciding not to re-open the Shane Warne-Mark Waugh case

The ACB, at least, fined the duo. The ICC, which brushed it under the carpet entirely, needs to be taken to task more.

Finally, on plans for the future

(Smiles) Iíll continue playing for Allied Bank, my employers who have always looked after me so well. As for international cricket, Iíll consider if and when a call-up again comes.    


 
 
NATH UPSETS SEWA 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, May 28: 
Subhoditya Nath, the eighth seed, toppled top seed Manoj Kumar Sewa 6-3, 6-3 to win the under-16 boysí crown at the Britannia junior age-group tennis meet today.

In the girlsí under-16 competition, top seed Ragini Vimal justified her ranking, winning the crown. She defeated third seed Sharmistha Chowdhury 6-2, 6-0.

Biplab Das, the top seed, won the boysí under-12 title, defeating second seed Akshay Bajoria 6-3, 6-2. The under-14 crown went to Rupesh Roy, once again the top seed, who defeated second seed Nirvick Mohinta 6-1, 6-2.    


 
 
MUKHERJEE, KAPUR, SAHNEY EMERGE WINNERS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, May 28: 
Team 14, comprising Harmeet Sahney, Mukesh Kapur and Joydeep Mukherjee, won the three-day Gold Cup golf tournament at the Calcutta Ladies Golf Club course today.

The runners-up were team 10, represented by G. G. Atwal, M. Mehra and S. Mohan.

Other winners

Best individual score: (men) Ambrish Khaitan, (women) I. Srivastava. 2nd best individual score: (men) Shyam Rao, (women) S.S. Kohli.Hidden hole winner: B. Sanyal Wooden Spoon winners: Team 6 (Deb Mukherjee, S. Roychowdhury, Nandini Dutt).    


 
 
I WENT THROUGH HELL, NOW I WANT TO MOVE ON IN LIFE 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Dhaka, May 28: 
Aamer Sohail, a former Pakistan captain, is one of those who stands vindicated with the Justice Malik Muhammad Qayyum report. Sohail, who is here as part of the TV commentary team, spoke to The Telegraph for a good 45 minutes this morning. He was, typically, very forthcoming on just about everything.

Following are excerpts

On the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) banning Salim Malik and Ata-ur Rehman for life

Itís a courageous move, though I wouldnít like to specifically comment on whether itís good to ban somebody for life... The allegations and counter-allegations had been in the air for quite some time... That part had to end and it has. However, for everybody, not just the PCB, that end is actually the starting point, too. Itís up to the administrators to carry on from there.

On the impression that the bans really donít mean much óMalik is, in any case, at the end of his career, while Rehman never quite had one

But, isnít the principle more important? In any case, an example has been set; a precedent created.

On whether, having repeatedly called for moves to cleanse cricket in Pakistan, he stands vindicated

Well, whatever Rashid (Latif) and I feared and suspected turned out to be true. We only raised a demand because we love the game, not because of ulterior motives. I am, therefore, happy. Remember, whenever somebody is picked to represent his country, a trust is placed on him. That trust just canít be betrayed. Itís this betrayal which got to me and Rashid...

It was unfair for people to question every defeat and attribute motives, but they did so because of the allegations... A stop had to be put; people had to be reminded cricket is for gentlemen.

On whether recommending fines ó the Justice Qayyum-prescribed penalty for Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Saeed Anwar, Mushtaq Ahmed and Akram Raza ó is at all meaningful in an era when cricketers make such a tidy packet

Fines, too, are a manner of punishment. Also, the person at the receiving end gets embarrassed. One way of looking at it is that the fines could be a starting point...

On whether, considering all the allegations, Akram got away lightly

Justice Qayyum is better-placed to answer that.

On his first thoughts when the Justice Qayyum report was made public

(Grins) I was, obviously, very satisfied... Itís like this ó I had put so much at stake, had suffered, made the family suffer as well... I could only have had that feeling of satisfaction.

On whether his Ďclean-Pakistan-cricketí stand led to his isolation

I knew what I was getting into... I weighed the pluses and minuses before taking the stand I took. But, yes, I went through hell and, in the process, also put the family under so much pressure. Now that itís all over, I want to move on in life and expect the authorities to get the game moving, too. Itís cricket, not individuals, which has suffered.

On whether he was ever threatened

I was, yes... People who wouldnít identify themselves called. At no time, though, was I scared.

On his impressions of Justice Qayyum

He did a thorough job but could, perhaps, have done with some more time. However, Iím disappointed the learned judge didnít allow me to cross-examine Rehman who, in his last retraction, claimed I forced him to give an anti-Akram affidavit. Had I been given the opportunity, like so many others, Iím sure things could have been very different.

On having been approached by an Indian player, on behalf of a bookie(s), during that infamous 1994 Singer Cup in Colombo

(Interrupting) I donít wish to talk about it... Basically, it will come down to my word against his... Iíll not be able to prove anything.

On whether he will cooperate with the CBI, if required

Like Iíve said, I wouldnít like to get involved... Let the authorities themselves continue with investigations. Today, frankly, Iím through with this sorry business of match-fixing allegations... I want to get on with life, would like to enjoy life. Iíve already suffered enough.

On Manoj Prabhakarís allegation against Kapil Dev

Itís disappointing that such a great cricketer, a complete player, has got involved in this... Kapil always had time for those who approached him, always came through as being nice.

On Kapil being identified, six years after the incident, as the one who allegedly offered the bribe

Perhaps, Prabhakar wanted to be assured of some support... Difficult to say.

On Hansie Cronje being at the centre of a huge scandal

Again, very disappointing... So many looked up to him as a role model...

On why cricketers get induced even though their earnings are handsome

I donít agree that all cricketers earn big sums. Indeed, usually, endorsements only come the way of the top two-three players. The rest, who have to do with match fees, could well get tempted... Frustration may have set in...

I do feel all Boards should have cricketers on contract, whereby even those who donít get selected, are assured of a monthly salary. I also believe the prize money in tournaments must be hiked. If it is to be shared within the team, a victory worth even $100,000 will result in the boys getting next to nothing. Again, I do feel the ICC should standardise match fees across the globe. In my opinion, there shouldnít be any disparity.

On the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) deciding not to re-open the Shane Warne-Mark Waugh case

The ACB, at least, fined the duo. The ICC, which brushed it under the carpet entirely, needs to be taken to task more.

Finally, on plans for the future

(Smiles) Iíll continue playing for Allied Bank, my employers who have always looked after me so well. As for international cricket, Iíll consider if and when a call-up again comes.    

 

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