Players shouldn’t betray the trust of a nation: An
Leander Paes out for three months
Saba undergoes eye surgery
Brazilian duo joins Bagan
Mondal sinks two more marks
Pakistan clinch maiden Asia Cup title
Lanka managers: From an LTTE suspect to a police o
Howrah college emerges best
Favourites may rule Day

 
 
PLAYERS SHOULDN’T BETRAY THE TRUST OF A NATION: AN 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Dhaka, June 7 
Former Pakistan captain and senior pro Saeed Anwar believes the players must themselves evolve a Code of Conduct and look to a career where integrity holds centrestage.

It’s a refreshingly different stand — quite in sync, though, with Anwar’s approach to things.

Last night, Anwar told The Telegraph: “It’s perfectly in order for the authorities to prescribe what should and shouldn’t be done but, really, the cricketers must themselves take the lead in ensuring absolutely nobody can point a finger. Like Caesar’s wife, they’ve got to be seen as being above suspicion.

“Clearly, instead of relying on others alone, we have a responsibility to take steps that will help restore the fair name of cricket and us players.”

Anwar added: “I’m sure there are dozens of billionaires in India and Pakistan, but does the public know about them? They definitely aren’t familiar faces. But, look at us cricketers, the entire country looks up to us... Izzat se khelna chahiye; izzat ko bachana chahiye...

“As for money, we already make enough. Therefore, self-discipline is a must... Players should look to playing with honour, not betraying the trust of a nation.”

Though always regarded as being in the clean-category, Anwar is one of the six to be fined (besides Salim Malik and Ata-ur Rehman, who have also been banned) by Justice Malik Muhammad Qayyum. He is, obviously, upset and intends appealing.

“I was so dejected the day the report was made public... The learned judge has fined me for not cooperating, but how could I have made allegations on hearsay alone? Sure, doubts did creep in on a few occasions, but I couldn’t have made that part of my testimony...

“People talk of Malik and Wasim Akram (in connection with match-fixing), but neither of them ever approached me... I have, as you know, consciously steered clear of controversies throughout my career. I haven’t done any wrong, so, I’ll appeal. Why must I keep quiet?’’

Getting emotional, Anwar said: “It’s a challenge... Let any bookie or a cricketer with links to bookies come forward and say I’ve interacted with him/them... I’ve been conscious of the people I mix with and, more important, always valued integrity.”

Anwar added: “Indeed, if anybody can point a finger — if the person has evidence, let him go directly to the PCB chief — then not only will I quit the game, I’ll return everything cricket has given me. I’ve never betrayed the trust which comes with being selected.”

To drive home the commitment-point, Anwar reminded: “Just a few summers ago, I was offered a very lucrative contract by Derbyshire, but turned it down when the-then PCB chief executive (Majid Khan) conveyed it was more important to play for Pakistan. That it had to be country first, not County... I immediately said fine, as money has never been the top attraction.

“In fact, so handsome was the Derby offer that besides a basic fee of £ 50,000, I was promised £ 25 for every single run I scored. A total of 2,000 runs, for instance, would have fetched a £ 50,000 bonus... Simple mathematics would make it £ 100,000 for one season. That’s good money but, then, nothing has meant more than playing for Pakistan.”

Anwar confessed to being “shocked” at Manoj Prabhakar’s revelation, but wondered why the former India allrounder took six years to ‘reveal’ Kapil Dev’s name. “I was stunned when the Hansie Cronje scandal broke, too... It’s unbelievable somebody of Cronje’s stature and passion would get involved.”

While appreciating the ICC move to impose a life-ban on match-fixers, Anwar maintained: “That should only be after a thorough investigation... The crime must be established beyond any doubt... As even tapes can be doctored, the process should be gone through with utmost care.”

Anwar, coming off arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, remarked he’d got a fresh lease of life. “Now, I’m confident of playing for three-four years. However, if I hadn’t undergone surgery, my career may have ended in a year or thereabouts.”

Incidentally, Anwar was operated upon by the UK-based Dr David Rees. “He was reco-mmended by Javed bhai (coach Javed Miandad), who had himself undergone surgery at Dr Rees’ hands.”

According to Anwar, a neck injury during the Test series at home versus Sri Lanka earlier this year — the result of a freak collision with stocky umpire Mohammed Nazir (Jr), who toured India under Zaheer Abbas in 1983 — was a blessing in disguise. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t also have had the knee-MRI...”

Anwar confirmed the knee problem had been acute.

“I would take pain-killers, during the Carlton and United Series (in Australia), but the effect would wear off after 40-50 minutes. Batting, then, became painful... I would be off to good starts, but could never build on them because after those 40-50 minutes, my focus would shift to combating the pain. I’m relieved that phase is over.”

Pakistan is relieved, too.

Talking generally, Anwar welcomed the PCB’s shift to the Academy-mode. “Till now, role-models have been sustaining cricket in Pakistan. Once the Academy comes into being, youngsters will have a formal finishing school. We can only be delighted.”    


 
 
LEANDER PAES OUT FOR THREE MONTHS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, June 7 
Leander Paes’ wrist injury is turning out to be more serious than expected. According to doctors in Paris, the Indian No. 1 will be out of action for three months.

That rules him out of Wimbledon (from June 26) as well as the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie in Sweden (from July 21).

Leander, who injured a ligament in his right wrist during his second-round mixed doubles match at the French Open Sunday, will take another specialist’s opinion before beginning his rehab programme.

According to Dr Vece Paes, his son should be “ready for competitive tennis” by September.

That will make him available for India’s campaign at the Olympics, though Leander himself is not too sure about his Sydney participation.    


 
 
SABA UNDERGOES EYE SURGERY 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, June 7 
Syed Saba Karim had to undergo an operation on his right eye today. According to information reaching here from Chennai, the need to have the operation cropped up suddenly, but wife Rashmi assured that “it was nothing major”.

“He back to his bed and the operation has gone off well,” she told The Telegraph over phone from Shankar Netralaya.

Saba was hit while keeping wickets to Kumble during India’s opener, against Bangladesh, at the Asia Cup in Dhaka.    


 
 
BRAZILIAN DUO JOINS BAGAN 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, June 7 
Jose Ramirez Barreto, who stood out in Mohun Bagan’s triumphant campaign in the last National League, put his signature on the dotted line for another season with the green-and-maroon brigade.

Also signing allegiance at the IFA office today for Mohun Bagan was Barreto’s compatriot Santos, medios Gunabir Singh and R.P. Singh, and goalkeeper Sandip Naskar. East Bengal did their bit by signing up Andery Mischelvsky and side-back Falguni Dutta.

Their efforts to have Isiaka also signing for them had to be shelved as IFA referred the matter to its 10-member arbitration panel because the Nigerian is under suspension from Tollygunge Agragami.

Yesterday, forward Kasif Jamal and medio Bastab Roy had signed in favour of Mohammedan Sporting. Both were with Mohun Bagan last season. Mohammedan Sporting also gained Tollygunge Agragami defender Soumen Sarkar.

Meanwhile, IFA officials are expected to meet police big-wigs on Friday to fix the dates for the McDowell Cup which was put on ‘hold’ after police refused permission on account of the municipal elections. IFA now plan to hold the meet between June 29 and July 8.’The officials will also discuss the tentative Super League fixtures.

Muslim Institute win

Muslim Institute swept past Police AC 2-0 at the East Bengal ground in a first division group B match of the Calcutta Football League today. Taltala DS tamed Talatala Institute 1-0 on the Mohun Bagan pitch.

The match between Calcutta Police and Milan Sangha fell through at the SAI Eastern Centre because of rain. There was a hattrick in fifth division with Susanta Chakraborty doing it for Beleghata BB in their 8-0 rout of Mitra Sammilani at the Bhowanipore ground.

Title for North 24 Parganas

North 24 Parganas kept their stranglehold on the women’s inter-district kabaddi by winning the the sixth edition of the meet at Burdwan on Sunday. With a 66-32 win over the hosts in the final, they have thus lifted the title for the fourth consecutive year. According to information reaching here, raider Arpita Samanta and catcher Alpana Das, both of North 24 Parganas, were adjudged Players of the Tournament.    


 
 
MONDAL SINKS TWO MORE MARKS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, June 7 
Gouranga Mondal continued to make waves at the state age-group aquatic championships at the Calcutta Sports Association. The youngster followed up yesterday record-breaking performance in the 200m breastroke for boys’ group II with two more marks today.

Gouranga, who had improved upon his own mark of two minutes 45.75 seconds with a 2:43.15 yesterday in the heats, today stopped the clock at 2:39.88 in the finals. He also added the 100 breastroke record under his belt, finishing in 1:15.19 in the heats to erase Subhankar Chhetri’s 1994 mark of 1:17.26. He also picked up the gold in the 100 butterfly.

One more record was erased today when Sudip Chattejee of Hooghly swam the 100m breastroke in boys’ group I in 1:15.15 seconds to sink Chhetri’s 1997 mark of 1:15.76. Sudip added the 200 individual medley gold to this.

Aparajita Pramanik of Calcutta, who won three events in girls group II yesterday, today added two more (100 & 400 freestyle). Yesterday she had won the 100m butterfly, 100m backstroke and the 400m individual medley.

Also picking up two golds today were girls’ group III’s Swastika Dutta of Calcutta (100 back & 100 freestyle), girls’ group I’s Swapna Das of Howrah (400 & 200 freestyle), Umapada Naskar (boys’ group III, 100 freestyle & 100 butterfly), Munmun Santra of Hooghly (girls’ group I, 50 freestyle & 200 back)) and Pou-m-Lee (girls’ group IV, 50 breaststroke, 100 freestyle).    


 
 
PAKISTAN CLINCH MAIDEN ASIA CUP TITLE 
 
 
FROM INDRANIL MAJUMDAR
 
Dhaka, June 7 
PAKISTAN 277/4 (50 ovs) SRI LANKA 238 (45.2 ovs)

Yousuf Youhana is a perfect team man. More than individual performances, it is the side’s showing that assumes greater significance in the end for the 26-year-old from Multan.

The Man-of-the-Series wore a despondent look at the dinner break having failed to come good with the bat. But all the gloom vanished in the 26th over of the Sri Lanka innings once he held onto Aravinda de Silva’s forceful shot at deep mid-wicket. It signalled the beginning of the end for the Lankans.

De Silva was hardly in his elements during his 43-ball vigil but, as so often in the past, the experienced customer was capable of tilting the scales any moment. His 71-run association with Maravan Atapattu (100 off 124 balls, 10x4) had begun to flourish when Youhana did the damage.

The rousing reception that followed summed up the players’ sense of gratitude. The 39-run victory was Pakistan’s maiden Asia Cup success is seven attempts.

The target was awesome and it required a quick change in strategy to make things happen differently. The Lankans obviously did not want to risk De Silva against the new ball in such a crunch situation. While the damage caused by De Silva’s early exit could have been irrepairable, his presence in the middle-order was sure to give them that extra edge.

So it was back to opening the innings with Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana. The right-hander’s success on subcontinent pitches in similar circumstances may have prompted the move but it turned out to be quite different today. Jayasuriya was in no mood to relax as he smashed the first delivery from Wasim Akram to the fence but Kaluwitharana fell two balls later, going for an ambitious third run.

The other Lankan move to promote Chaminda Vaas as a pinch hitter flopped once he was beaten for pace. The Lankan skipper also tried too many things early on to capitalise on the fielding restrictions and was caughtb off the leading edge.

Atapattu’s act of consolidation did prove beneficial but he hardly enjoyed the desired support. Russel Arnold’s (41 off 44 balls, 4x4, 2x6) heroics ended prematurely and once he and Atapattu left, it was curtains for them.

Everything fell in place for the islanders till the slog overs. That was when Inzamam-ul Haq (72 not out off 66 balls, 5x4, 1x6) and Moin Khan (56 not out off 31balls, 3x4, 4x6), especially the latter, cut loose. It was scintillating stuff as Moin swung his bat at about everything. A flicked six over long-leg remained the biggest hit of the match.

The pair added 104 runs in 67 balls in an unbroken fifth-wicket stand, with 72 coming in the last five overs. It was mayhem of the worst kind as Vaas and Co. were left clueless. To add to their woes, the Lankan fielding crumbled under pressure. Catches were dropped which made the batsman’s task easier.

Pakistan’s plan was to preserve wickets at the initial stages and attack later on taking first strike. The presence of Saeed Anwar (82 off 111 balls, 6x4, 1x6) till the 40th over also helped in getting things moving to the right direction. He was brilliant through the off-side forcing Jayasuriya to resort to double covering square of the wicket. It was not that he was overtly defensive but paced his innings in such superb fashion that the bowlers never dared to dictate terms.

It laid the perfect platform for Moin to step on the accelerator. He just concentrated on going over the top. Very rarely did he mistime — only once did Vaas drop a high catch off his own bowling — and cleared the ropes with confidence and authority.

Inzamam, too, joined in the party. Batting for most of the time with a runner (Imran Nazir) because of cramps, the doughty customer came good when it mattered most. Nazir’s presence assured there was no confusion in running between the wickets as Inzamam kept rotating the strike. In fact, with Moin dictating terms in such awesome fashion, the burly right-hander did not have to exert himself much.

Anwar and Moin’s success ensured that the team never had to bother about the failures of Shahid Afridi and Yousuf Youhana. Afridi, promoted in the order, looked woefully out of touch during his 27-ball stay. Youhana’s superb run in the tournament finally came to an end once Upul Chandana held onto the top edge.

But Moin ensured they did not have to pay a heavy price for their slips.    


 
 
LANKA MANAGERS: FROM AN LTTE SUSPECT TO A POLICE O 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Dhaka, June 7 
In appointing managers, the Sri Lankan Board has completed full circle: From somebody with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) links, at the start of last season, to currently a top police officer.

In fact the present manager, T. B. Kaheldgamuwa (also a national selector), is the Lankan police’s Colombo-based director of transport with the rank of SSP.

Last July-August, part of the Board’s starting-afresh-strategy was to appoint a “disciplinarian” as manager. Duleep Mendis, who got the boot, was seen as too soft besides being too close to the then-discredited old guard — Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda de Silva.

As it turned out Chandra Shafter, the ‘disciplinarian’, had to be himself sacked in early November for LTTE links.

Intriguingly, the interim committee running the Board went ahead with Shafter’s appointment even though he was already being probed (reported by The Telegraph on August 19, 1999) by the National Investigation Bureau.

Even more surprising, like all sport-related appointments on the island-nation, it was endorsed by the minister-in-charge, S. B. Dissanayeke.

Shafter, a businessman, was sacked on the eve of the Lankan team’s departure for Zimbabwe. An ad-hoc replacement was effected, at the last minute, while Kaheldgamuwa took charge from the tour of Pakistan — Lanka’s first engagement of the Millennium.

With the interim committee — headed by the Hatton National Bank managing director Reinzie Wijetileke — itself quitting, a few days ago, it’s not clear whether Kaheldgamuwa will continue.

However, as the next series (versus Pakistan) is on home turf, the current manager may be retained. After all, owing to the on-going turmoil, there’s the security angle as well.

And, in any case, these aren’t the most normal of times for cricket itself either.

According to well-placed sources, Shafter had furnished the bail of one Manouri, reportedly his niece, who was a suspect in the murderous Maradana bombing of 1987. The bombing was the LTTE’s handiwork.

Shafter’s removal, though, was officially linked to his “close ties” with “Tamil militants” in South Africa. The fear was he could be in “constant touch” with them during that trip to Zimbabwe.

With the stern Kaheldgamuwa, of course, it’s a very different ball game.    


 
 
HOWRAH COLLEGE EMERGES BEST 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, June 7 
Narasimha Dutta College lifted the CAB inter-district college title today with a crushing 10-wicket win over Berhampore College.

Off-spinner Biswajit Polley ensured an early grip on the match by dismissing Berhampore for 92, finishing with 6-0-32-6. The Narasimha Dutta openers swept past the target in the 18th over.    


 
 
FAVOURITES MAY RULE DAY 
 
 
FROM WILLIAM TELL
 
Mysore, June 7 
Always in the frame in all her four starts during the winter season here, the J. S. Pillay-trained Greek Lady is tipped to bag the 1,100m S. V. Subramaniam Memorial Gold Cup, a terms affair for three-year-olds. tomorrow, the opening day of the Mysore summer season. Sajjad Khan partners the filly. Course-favourites are likely to rule in the frame of eight.

SELECTIONS

2.15 pm: Hilary 1. Glass Slipper 2. Pride Of Fact 3.

2.45 pm: Amazing Force 1. Bessie 2. Swiss Knife 3.

3.15 pm: Rock Sea 1. Divisional 2. All Fired Up 3.

3.45 pm: A For Alfa 1. All Jade 2. Medwin 3.

4.15 pm: Greek Lady 1. Brilliantine 2. Radical 3.

4.45 pm: Arabian Beauty 1. Lex Lugger 2. Solo Knight 3.

5.15 pm: Cruising Away 1. Secret Ballot 2. Lost Horizon 3.

5.30 pm: Imperial Weapon 1. Erudition 2. Simon 3.

Day’s Best: Greek Lady Double: Amazing Force & Imperial Weapon.    

 

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