Rumblings over TV revenue sharing
Tolly win patchy affair
Big 2 unlikely to begin at ‘home’
Hattrick by Okolonko
Baidya, Raha annex crowns
English ‘theories’ should change
Head Hunter gets first call
Aerobee does it again
Track trials

Calcutta, July 12 
The International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) comfort-over-cash policy, which influenced the awarding of TV rights for the 2003 and 2007 World Cups, could soon cause much discomfort to the ICC itself.

Thus far, barring Zee’s outburst, things have been quiet. However, according to The Telegraph’s sources, the West Indies appears to be in the second thoughts-mode on having agreed to the prized contract being awarded to the No.2 bidder (World Sport Group, $ 550 million).

Zee Multimedia Worldwide and Trans World International (TWI) together offered $ 666 million, yet were spurned.

The decision was taken by the ICC’s Executive Board, late last month in Paris. While the West Indies will host the 2007 edition, the one in 2003 will be staged in South Africa.

It seems the West Indies, belatedly, has realised the loss really will be theirs (and South Africa’s).

According to the revenue-sharing formula, the ICC earmarks 50 per cent for the World Cups hosts (in this case, to be equally divided between South Africa and the West Indies), while the rest is shared between the other Test-playing nations and the Associates.

Not only have South Africa and the West Indies already each lost $ 29 million (had the contract gone to Zee-TWI, the hosts would have shared $ 333 million and not $ 275 million), the ICC is understood to have decided on keeping aside $ 100 million (from the bid-money) for “organisational expenses.”

So, in effect, South Africa and the West Indies will be offered 50 per cent of $ 450 million not $ 550 million. Therefore, it’s a double loss. This appears to have really upset the West Indies.

South Africa’s reaction isn’t known, but it’s likely the West Indies will make a formal representation to the ICC.

Of course, the ICC can argue the West Indies went along with the Executive Board’s decision. Equally, the West Indies may insist it wasn’t aware of the organisational expenses-related $ 100 million deduction.

By all accounts, the next few weeks could be crucial and a key role may still be played by Jagmohan Dalmiya who, a fortnight ago, completed his three-year term as ICC president.

[Though in the city, Dalmiya declined to talk about the telecast rights’ fall-out. “I have just laid down office; I wouldn’t like to say anything,” he insisted, wishing to steer clear of anything even remotely controversial.]

It is, perhaps, significant the West Indies thought it appropriate to salute Dalmiya on his last day in office.

A West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) letter, signed by president Pat Rousseau and vice-president Clarvis Joseph, made public on June 26, includes the following:

“Over the past eight weeks, we have witnessed an orchestrated campaign designed to smear and belittle our outgoing president... He has shown great courage, dignity and tenacity, all the characteristics you expect in a quality leader in the face of this often vulgar and sometimes obscene campaign...

“He has done an outstanding job and displayed great skill in persuading his colleagues to support positions when he had no vote of his own. His ideas, often revolutionary in a fairly conservative body, have proved noteworthy...

“We have found him to be a man of integrity and a man of his word... We, at the West Indies Cricket Board, wish to laud and applaud him.”

Even if one doesn’t read too much into the letter, the language suggests the West Indies wouldn’t think twice about dumping the ‘First World’ within the ICC.

If it does come about, this shift will be significant.    

Calcutta, July 12 
Tollygunge Agragami beat SAIL 3-0 in their opening Super Division clash at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium today, but it hardly was the one-sided match the scoreline suggests. Bhabani Mohanti (2) and Laltu Das, by the way, were the scorers.

It was, if anything, a meaningless joust that nobody deserved to win for the better part of the match. Rain had reduced the pitch to a slushy mess on which quality football was not possible, and the manner in which the two teams went about their business in the opening half, a goal looked the most unlikely outcome of any foray.

When it did come, some four minutes after the breather, there was the inevitable stamp of clumsy defending.

The second goal, scored in rather spectacular fashion in the 82nd, would never have been but for some inept supervision. The third, some four minutes from the final whistle, made one wonder if the goalkeeper’s job wasn’t to try and stop the ball rather than gaze at it while it rolled into his goal.

There were, of course, moments that lit up the game. Like the save Tollygunge goalkeeper Amit Sinha Roy brought off some half-an-hour after the break when Amjad Ali shot from point-blank range. Or the enterprise and skill Sasthi Duley displayed up the Tollygunge right flank.

The early exchanges were even, but Tollygunge were definitely creating the better openings — though they were few and far between. Mohanti and Duley both came upon good chances during this period.

Duley was to pave the way for Tollygunge’s first goal, slipping past a couple of defenders on the right minutes after the breather and firing a left-footer across the goalmouth. SAIL’s right-back Surya Bikash Chowdhury failed to clear the ball, managing only a small defelection, Mohanti had all the time in the world to scramble the ball in.

The second goal, scored 13 minutes later, was also from a Duley cross — this time a floater — that Laltu Das dived to head into the bar and Mohanti, controlling the rebound, banged into the roof of the net. It would have been a very good goal had Das not been in an off-side position when he went in for the header.

He got a goal against his name, in the 41st minute, when substitute Naresh Mann set him free on the right and Das got in an angular, turf-hugging drive.    

Calcutta, July 12 
With their galleries still being repaired and renovated, Mohammedan Sporting are travelling to the Salt Lake Stadium for their Super Division matches. It now appears that Mohun Bagan and East Bengal will not get to open their campaigns on home turf as well.

The Indian Football Association have been told by the police that they will not give permission to host matches at these two grounds till the necessary ‘fit’ certificates are produced.

An IFA official said the clubs concerned must take a great deal of the blame for not taking any initiative. “For example, even the members’ stand at Mohun Bagan does not have a ‘fit’ certificate at the moment,” he said.

The IFA has come under pressure to allot these matches to grounds that are overbooked. Mohun Bagan are scheduled to open against SAIL Friday.    

Calcutta July 12 
Bhratri Sangha beat Wari AC 3-0 through a hattrick by Christian Okolonko in a first division group A match today. Okolonko scored all three goals in the second half, one of them being from the penalty spot.

In another first division match, Howrah Union drew with Eastern Coalfield 1-1. Soumava Das scored for the Howrah team and Laxman Ghosh replied for the latter. Elsewhere, West Bengal Police beat Mohameddan AC by a solitary goal by Subir Mondol.

In the fourth division championship play-off, Robert Hudson AC thrashed National Sports Club 5-1. S. Dey got four past the National Sports Club goalkeeper which included a hattrick. S. Haldar added one more to increase the margin. The relegation play-off saw one match being abandoned due to unplayable ground conditions, while in the other, Nivedita Club beat Behala ASA 1-0.    

Calcutta, July 12 
Barnali Raha ended Amrita Bhattacharya’s reign as the state women’s badminton champion today even as men’s top seed Arup Baidya stuttered to another state singles title.

Amrita, women’s singles champion for the last five years, was beaten 11-8, 4-11, 4-11 in the final of the 63rd edition of the state championships, held at the Raipur Club in Garia.

In the men’s final, Baidya overcame Kanishka Das 15-3, 8-15, 15-4 in a keenly contested tussle. While Baidya won the first game without much of a sweat, Das surged back to shock his more fancied opponent in the next. But the man who won the title at the recent state-ranking meet, showed his class when it mattered, outclassing Das in the decider.

Barnali lost the first game, but it only seemed to steel her resolve as she fought back to tame her Jadavpur University teammate.

Arup made it a ‘double’ when he and Amandeep Saikri beat Soumen Bhattacharya and Hirak Sengupta 15-7, 13-15, 15-8 in the doubles final.

Ratan Saha beat Pinaki Ghosh 15-8, 15-5 to win the veterans’ singles crown.    

No, I didn’t get a half-century in the one brand of cricket I play nowadays. I had mentioned in the previous column how I hoped to get that elusive fifty, but it was not to be. Phil Edmonds drew me down the pitch with a beautifully flighted delivery and, as I lunged for the ball, it spun away just enough for David Frost to scramble a stumping.

There was a testing opening spell from Richard Hadlee to negotiate first and, though he was bowling off a short run-up, he was still able to make the ball zip through and do enough to suggest he could still be a more than useful performer for New Zealand. He then batted with his usual gusto to ensure that his side did not lose. In fact it was a tie but not a contrived one as five were required to win but Hadlee’s shot did not quite carry over the boundary for the six that would have clinched it. Instead, it went a couple of bounces over the rope for a boundary.

This is the thing that strikes you when you play cricket after having retired from the international arena. It is the timing that deserts you. You see the ball, you feel you are moving into the shot okay but suddenly you find that the reflexes have slowed down so much that the foot is not quite there and, even if it gets there, the bat comes down just a trifle too late, thus robbing the shot of power.

Although I was there only for the first day of the second (England-West Indies) Test, at Lord’s, it was good to see honour being bestowed on Dilip Vengsarkar for his stupendous performance of three consecutive centuries at the ground. Dilip was in line for the fourth one when, trying to force a ball to the legside, he tickled it to the ’keeper. After a run out, it must be the most annoying way to get oneself out.

‘Caught-behind’ on the offside can come about from a bad shot or a great delivery but down legside chances of losing your wicket are so slim that batsmen are left more upset with such a dismissal. Unlike on offside, where there can be a cordon of slip fielders, there can be on the legside two fielders at the most and, more often than not, there aren’t any close in.

Dilip was the lone Asian among the ten former players called for outstanding performances at Lord’s in Test cricket.

The Test itself was a topsy-turvy one with the West Indians losing it rather than England winning. The Caribbeans were in total control at lunch on the first day when, after being put in to bat, they had not lost a wicket. They are, of course, more natural cricketers than thinking ones and a needless run out off the second ball after lunch started the rot. The thoughtlessness was incredible for any young cricketer will tell you that after a long break it does take time for players to warm up, especially in cooler climes. The speed between wickets is usually affected, so how could they have been going for a risky second run, and that too against a fast bowler’s throwing arm?

If that was shocking, what was unbelievable was the way the West Indian batsmen ducked and weaved and got out to short deliveries in the second innings for a paltry 54. In recent times the West Indians have been dismissed for double digit scores a few times, which is an indication of their batting quality or the lack of it. It used to be their bowlers who dismissed the opposition for double-digit totals while their batsmen piled on the runs, but seeing the technique of West Indian batsmen, one is hardly surprised at the way they are faring.

Dominic Cork deservedly was adjudged Man of the Match for the way he kept his cool to take England to victory with some bold shots. He had done his bit earlier, capturing seven wickets in the game and giving the England bowling that little ‘extra’ which it had been lacking. He had been ruled out of the side for the last couple of years because he is supposed to be difficult to handle. Yes, he is a bit demonstrative and is not afraid to show his feelings but so long as he is not offensive how does it matter?

Unfortunately, the theory that ‘difficult’ players should not be in the team, has had England paying heavily.

They did not pick Phil Tufnell, a proven matchwinner only because of this ‘difficult to handle’ tag and, instead, chose ordinary club class bowlers in his place. Cork’s presence in the side will also lift Darren Gough’s performances as there is a positive rivalry between the two of them and that should help England.

As Michael Holding wrote the problem with England is that they have too many theories. So an opening batsman, and a left-handed one to boot, bats down the order while a middle-order batsman is sent to open the innings.

Against an attack as incisive as the one West Indies has, it’s hardly surprising that Ramprakash promoted to open the batting has been dismissed cheaply and it won’t be a surprise if he gets omitted but of course Graeme Hick who has also looked pathetic will not be dropped. It is almost as if the England selectors are determined to prove that Hick will finally come good. Well with all the chances that he is getting it should not be a surprise if in the odd innings he scores runs.

Still England have levelled the series and rest of the Tests should be interesting to follow.

Professional Management Group    

Calcutta, July 12 
Although there are only three horses in the running, yet the contest may be close in the 1,400m Gamble For Love Cup, tomorrow’s chief draw. Going by their last week’s clash Adventure, from Vijay Singh’s yard, is definitely at a big weight disadvantage against Head Hunter, a Richard Alford-trainee. But it is the Bharath Singh ward Allodium who may worry his contemporary, the four-year-old colt, who has the Calcutta Sprinters’ Trophy to his credit after finishing fourth in the 2,000 Guineas.

Allodium, a well-bred Twist And Turn-Dangerous Romance gelding, is no mean challenger. He is a winner of four races here last winter in as many starts. However, it is the outing benefit that may tilt the scales in favour of Head Hunter. The last run of the Gold Discovery-Calabali son is best ignored. Robert Gowli will be in the saddle again to guide Head Hunter and he may get the best out of the colt.

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

Gamble For Love Cup 1,400m (Cl I—Rated 88 & over)

1 - 224 Adventure [Vijay] S. Rabani 60.0 2

2 0000 Head Hunter [R. Alford] R. Gowli 53.5 1

3 1111 Allodium [Bharath] C. Alford 50.5 3

1. Head Hunter (2) 2. allodium (3)

Head Hunter: Ignore his last run in the terms race. May take some beating at the present. Allodium: Unbeaten in his last four starts. Capable of upsetting.

Jingle Handicap 1,100m (Cl IV, Rt.22-50) — Indian jockeys only

1 - - - 1 Comeback Kid [Javed] N. Bird 60.0 3

2 2000 Silver Raising [Javed] N. Akhtar 58.5 2

3 3421 Crucible [Vijay] C. Alford 57.0 4

4 2133 Rock Falcon [R. Alford] R. Yadav 56.5 6

5 4020 Friendly Knight [Mjueeb] K. Kumar 56.5 7

W ---- Jayaashva [Mujeeb] (Withdrawn) 56.5 --

7 0123 Gul [P. Locke] N. Engineer 54.0 8

8 - 013 Arctic Fancy [R. Alford] R. Gowli 52.5 5

9 - - 00 Crest Star [Goenka] Md. Yasin 50.0 1

1. crucible (3) 2. comeback kid (1) 3. arctic fancy (8)

Crucible: Won handsomely when far from fully tuned. Could win again. Comeback Kid: Beat the field hollow in his only start last winter. Fit and well. Arctic Fancy: May need this outing.

Punters Delight Handicap 1,000m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) — Indian jockeys only

1 0304 Arizona Star [Mujeeb] Sher S. 60.5 1

2 - - - 2 Piece Of Cake [David] Md Islam 60.0 3

3 - 000 Exclusive Girl [R. Alford] S. Tamang 51.0 2

4 - 000 Sapphire And Silk [R. Alford] K. Gurang 50.5 4

5 4004 Quizzical [Vijay] C. Alford 50.5 5

1. quizzical (5) 2. exclusive girl (3) 3. piece of cake (2)

Quizzical: The outing benefit may see her in better light. Exclusive Girl: Ignore her last run. May surprise. Piece Of Cake: Very fit. Capable of upsetting.

Whimbrel Handicap 1,000m (Cl III, 5-y-o & over—Rt. 44-72)

1 - 004 Char Bahar [Karki] N. Akhtar 60.0 3

2 4342 Mameena [Stephens] C. Alford 59.5 6

3 0013 Dancing Fire [Bharath] Md Islam 58.0 2

4 0100 Giltedge [R. Alford] R. Gowli 52.5 1

5 0000 Swash Buckler [Rodrigues] G. Upadhya 52.5 5

6 4120 Iron Warrior [David] A. P. Singh 52.0 4

1. mameena (2) 2. char bahar (1) 3. dancing fire (3)

Mameena: Lost ground at the start thus the race. May repay losses. Char Bahar: A speedster. May run close to the winner. Dancing Fire: Known as a giant killer.

Mysore Race Club Cup 1,400m (Cl II—Rt. 66-94)

1 0411 Aquaria [Vijay] Surender S. 60.0 1

2 0001 Kansai [Bharath] S. Rabani 57.0 3

3 0402 Blitzer [David] Md Amil 56.5 2

4 0401 All Heart [Vijay] C. Alford 54.5 4

5 1102 Gentle Priest [Bharath] Md Islam 53.0 5

6 0240 Remember The Day [R. Alford] S. Tamang 50.0 6

1. all heart (4) 2. kansai (2) 3. aquaria (1)

All Heart: An effortless winner of a six-furlong race on the last day of the winter season. Also a good fifth in Bangalore 1,000 Guineas. Fit, has class to pull it off again. Kansai: May fight the issue again. Aquaria: Dislikes wet track. May place.

Ridicular Handicap 1,200m (Cl IV—Rt. 22-50) — Indian jockeys only

1 0004 American [R. Alford] Rutherford A. 61.0 4

2 3242 Artifact [Vijay] A. P. Singh 55.0 8

3 3021 Allaying [Bharath] C. Alford 53.5 1

4 0200 Aliqa [Javed] M. Reuben 52.5 3

5 3210 Scarlet Raider [R. Alford] R. Gowli 52.0 7

6 3102 Bul Bul [P. Locke] Md Yasin 52.0 5

7 0411 Go India Go [Mujeeb] Som S. 51.5 6

8 2100 Global Harmony [Mujeeb] Md Yacoob 51.5 2

1. allaying (3) 2. scarlet raider (5) 3. bul bul (6)

Allaying: Easy winner of the Grand Annual Handicap. Despite the sprint, she gets the vote on her class alone. Scarlet Raider: Overlook her last run. Capable of doing better. Bul Bul: Only a place prospect against the present opposition.

Day’s Best: Crucible Double: Head Hunter & Mameena    

Trained by J. S. Pillay and ridden by Warren Singh, Aerobee notched up his fifth straight victory in Mysore on Wednesday


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Ranibennur Plate 1,600m: (13-11-7) Selected Princess (Shekhawat) 1; Strident 2; Candalita 3. Won by: 1/2; 2; (1-42.4). Tote: Win Rs 467; Place: 100; 27; 319; Quinella: 1,393; Tanala: 35,630 (C.o). Fav: Super Plus (3).

2. Kokkare Belluru Plate 1,400m: (8-2-7) Our Paradise (Ramesh) 1; Norfolk King 2; Genting Highlands 3. Won by: Nk; 1-1/4; (1-28.6). Tote: Win Rs 156; Place: 38; 25; 25; Quinella: 422; Tanala: 7,376. Fav: War Paint (6).

3. Somwarpet Plate 1,600m: (7-5-1) Chevillion (Ruzaan) 1; Cyclades 2; Eyewitness 3. Won by: 6-1/4; 1/2; (1-41.5). Tote: Win Rs 33; Place: 16; 21; 21; Quinella: 100; Tanala: 1,050. Fav: Chevillion (7).

4. Indian Turf Services Trophy 1,400m: (1-3-4) Aerobee (Warren) 1; Royal Incarnate 2; Surf Rider 3. Won by: 1-1/2; 5-1/2; (1-28.3). Tote: Win Rs 20; Place: 10; 17; 12; Quinella: 39; Tanala: 90. Fav: Aerobee (1).

5. Balamuri Plate 1,200m: (5-13-6) Vereva (Gallagher) 1; Forest Gift 2; Tequila Ride 3. Not run: Burq (3) & Grand Monarch (4). Won by: 3-1/2; 4-3/4; (1-14.7). Tote: Win Rs 16; Place: 12; 17; 39; Quinella: 31; Tanala: 403. Fav: Vereva (5).

6. Bannur Plate 1,200m: (4-12-7) Little Pleasure (Gallagher) 1; Secret Ballot 2; Our Pedestal 3. Not run: Austin Jennings (11). Won by: 4; 5; (1-12.9). Tote: Win Rs 38; Place: 18; 44; 27; Quinella: 260; Tanala: 2,167. Fav: Little Pleasure (4).

Jackpot: Rs 2,499; (C) Rs 322.

Treble: (i) Rs 10,469; (ii) Rs 97.    

Arendal was impressive during today’s work outs.

Outer sand track

1,200m: Aldebro (C. Alford) in 1-31 2/5s; (800m) 56 3/5s; (400m) 27s. Easy. Arendal (C. Alford) and Allosaki (A. P. Singh) in 1-32s; (800m) 58 3/5s; (400m) 28s. Former who was 2 ls better, moved well. Annalee (A. P. Singh) and Magnifico (C. Alford) in 1-32s; (800m) 58 2/5s; (400m) 26 2/5s. Former 2 ls better. Anolini (C. Alford) and Amarante (Amil) in 1-29s; (800m) 58s; (400m) 26 3/5s. Former 6 ls better. Tejeni (Rb) and Serenader (C. Alford) in 1-33s; (800m) 1-1s; (400m) 27 1/5s. Former 3 ls better.

800m: Constantine (Akhtar) in 56 2/5s; (400m) 26 2/5s. Moved well. Storm Trooper (Akhtar) in 57 2/5s; (400m) 26 2/5s. Good. Alkido (Rabani) in 58s; (400m) 27 3/5s. Easy. Sheerness (A. P. Singh) in 1-0s; (400m) 28 2/5s. Easy.

Sand track

800m: Floral Path (Som S) and Diplomatic Gesture (Shanker) in 54s; (400m) 24s. Former was a length better. Both were handy. Eau Savage (Shanker) in 55s; (400m) 24 2/5s.

600m: Tequila Shot (Shanker) in 43 2/5s; (400m) 25 2/5s.    


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