AITA drops team doctor
Baidya star attraction
LIC champions
Bagan stands cleared
Gurbux offered a role
Parab shines on Day I
Cristopher wins four events
Track trials

Calcutta, July 13 
The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has made it a habit of following up a good deed with an inexplicable one.

A fortnight after it decided to send an extra player to Sweden for the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie, the AITA has ‘balanced’ that by ‘dropping’ the team doctor from the squad. Dr Vece Paes, who played that role for nearly a decade, has been asked to stay off from the Bastad visit.

According to Mr R.K. Khanna, Mahesh Bhupathi will be travelling to Bastad with an American physio-cum-trainer — one whose name the AITA president didn’t know. “He’ll look after the whole team. It was felt that a trainer was more important than a doctor,” Mr Khanna said from Delhi, putting up a very weak defence.

But why one at the expense of another? A physio, after all, is nothing new for the Indian team — it has always had one in the last five-six years. The Delhi-based Sanjay Singh did the job in most ties, while the more accomplished Bill Norris was hired for a few ties in 1997-98.

“There’s been a change in thinking,” was all that Mr Khanna would say.

No one’s sure what the new thinking is, but one thing’s certain — this is certainly not the right way for the national association to go about it.

Having done away with a coach since the beginning of the year, when they dropped Enrico Piperno, the AITA has now gone ahead and shrunk the team’s support system even further. That’s ridiculous, especially in an age when the entourage of teams and individuals are getting bigger by the day.    

Dhanbad, July 13 
The Dhanbad Open Invitation Cup badminton meet begins here tomorrow at the Koyla Nagar Nehru Sports Complex. At least 25 players from Orissa, Bihar and Bengal have confirmed participation, according to organising committee president B. Rajendra.

Bengal’s Arup Baidya is the main attraction, along with Sushant Saxena and Rajiv Ghosh of Uttar Pradesh. The Bihar players include Sanjay Jain, Rajesh Chaudhary, Vivek Sharma, Ashwini Sharma (all Jamshedpur), Shafaq Nawab, Nilesh Kumar, Anuj Kumar (Patna) and Rajan Kumar Singh (Ranchi).

Representing Dhanbad are Anil Palta, Rajendra Tiwary, Rakesh Tiwary, Sauvik Badhuri, Ashish Sen and Shankar Prasad.    

Calcutta, July 13 
LIC, comprising R. Rajesh, Ranjan Chakraborty, Vinay Vaiswad and Jabarjit Singh, emerged team champions in the all-India public sector table tennis meet. They beat FCI 3-1 in the final today.

LIC men claimed the singles and doubles titles as well. Rajesh tamed Vaiswad 21-18, 11-21, 21-14, 21-14, while the Rajesh-Ranjan duo triumphed 21-15, 21-12 against Vaiswad-Prabir Datta, also of LIC.

South Club coaching

The executive committee of the South Club meets tomorrow to decide who is to be entrusted the job of the club’s coaching scheme for the next term. Former Davis Cup coaches Akhtar Ali and Enrico Piperno, who had initially applied separately, have worked out an understanding to put in a joint bid. Paes En Sport is the other contender. A third option is for the club to run the scheme on its own.    

Calcutta, July 13 
Mohun Bagan will, after all, be opening their Super Division campaign at home. The reigning National League champions, beaten by East Bengal in Monday’s final of the season-launching McDowell Cup, take on SAIL tomorrow.

There were doubts about the ‘fitness’ of the Mohun Bagan galleries as the mandatory Public Works Department (PWD) clearance hadn’t come through. It was only at 2 pm today that the PWD letter, clearing the galleries as safe, reached the IFA office.

A team of police personnel then inspected the ground and gave IFA the go-ahead for tomorrow’s tie.

According to an IFA official, entry will be allowed to about 14,700 people, a couple of thousand more than what was permitted last season.

Interestingly, the PWD is yet to issue a fitness certificate for the East Bengal ground.

East Bengal are scheduled to kick off their Super Division campaign on Wednesday.

CPT ride Sandip hattrick

A Sandip Ghosh hattrick helped Calcutta Port Trust (CPT) beat Milan Bithee 3-0 in a Calcutta League first division group A match today. Sandip scored once in the first half and twice in the second.

CFC earned full points from their clash with Kalighat Club, thanks to a penalty conversion by Bhaskar Roy 15 minutes into the second session.

In group B, Calcutta Customs walloped Taltala DS 5-0, while Aikya Sammilani edged past Milan Samity 1-0. Sanjoy Kundu, Gopal Ghosh scored a brace each and Chandan Dey chipped in with one for Customs. Aikya’s matchwinner came from Sanjay Gupta.

The fourth division relegation play-off tie between Calcutta Rangers and Shyambazar ended goalless.    

Calcutta, July 13 
The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) has sounded out former Olympian and India captain Gurbux Singh on assisting national coach Vasudevan Baskaran at the Olympic preparatory camp.

Gurbux will join the camp, already underway in Bangalore, once he gets the official letter.

“Mr K.P.S. Gill (the IHF president) had proposed this in February during the Azlan Shah meet in Kuala Lumpur where I was the manager. Last month in Imphal, Mr Gill again sought my assistance in selecting the Indian under-16 squad at the regional camp,” Gurbux told The Telegraph today.

“My job won’t be directly involved with coaching. Baskaran is and will remain the coach. Former players like me will only help him with necessary inputs,” explained BHA secretary Gurbux, who was coach of the national side in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Once the ‘invitation’ comes, Gurbux plans to inspect the state of affairs in the camp on his first visit to Bangalore. Thereafter, he will be dropping in occasionally for four-five days to help out Baskaran. Gurbux, a solid full-back during his heydays, wants to concentrate solely on the defenders.    

Calcutta, July 13 
Parab Das of Tulsigacha Nimpith Swimming Centre, Joynagar hogged the limelight on the opening day of the 22nd annual all-Bengal invitation aquatic championships at Calcutta Sports Association pool today.

Das, who represented the state in the national sub-junior meet this year, emerged winner in the boys’ 100m freestyle (Group IV), 50m butterfly and 50m backstroke events.


Men’s 100m backstroke: Subrata Bhattacharjee 1:09.35; 100m breaststroke: Pinakesh Das 1:19.03; 100m freestyle: Soumak Naskar 1:01.07.Boys’ 100m backstroke (Gr. II): Raju Nag 1:15.64; 100m freestyle (Gr. IV): P. Das 1:15.04; 100m backstroke (Gr. III): Avirup Dutta Majumder 1:16.67; 100m freestyle (Gr. II): Souvik Das 1:05.34; 50m butterfly (Gr. IV): P. Das 36.54; 100m butterfly (Gr. II): Gouranga Mondal 1:08.69; 50m backstroke (Gr. IV): P. Das 38.55; 50m freestyle (Gr. III): Avirup Dutta Majumder 30.05.Girls’ 100m freestyle (Gr. I): Sadhana Dey 1:15.24; 100m butterfly (Gr. II): Anima Bhagat 1:17.52; 100m butterfly (Gr. III): Kakali Kar 1:26.36; 100 butterfly (Gr. I): Sadhana Dey 1:18.58; 100m breaststroke (Gr. III): Somoleena Roy 1:30.13; 100m breaststroke (Gr. I): 1:32.37; 100m breaststroke (Gr. II): Sayani Pal 1:31.16; 100m freestyle (Gr. III): Swastika Dutta 1:13.28.    

Calcutta, July 13 
Jockey Cristopher Alford stormed home with four winners — including the hottest favourite of the day, Allodium in the opener the Gamble for Love Cup, which was the main draw in today’s frame of six. Cristopher finished the afternoon with the victory of Allaying, also an odds-on favourite in the Ridicular Handicap. In-between the two prime winners, the jockey, however, had to work hard to guide the lesser fancied Quizzical and Mameena to the winners’ enclosure.

Always a hard trier and prese-ntly camping in Bangalore, the cha-mpion jockey’s regular visits to the city have been luring turfites to pack the RCTC stands.


1. Gamble For Love Cup 1,400m: (3-2-1) Allodium (C. Alford) 1; Head Hunter (Gowli) 2; Adventure (Rabani) 3. Won by: 1-1/4; Dist; (1-30.3). Tote: Win Rs 14; Quinella: 16. Fav: Allodium (3). Winner trained by Bharath S.

2. Jingle Handicap 1,100m: (8-3-1-2) Arctic Fancy (Gowli) 1; Crucible (C. Alford) 2; Comeback Kid (Bird) 3; Silver Raising (Akhtar) 4. Won by: Nk; 3-1/2; 3-1/4; (1-13). Tote: Win Rs 45; Place: 18; 13; 10; Quinella: 57; Tanala: 209. Fav: Comeback Kid (1). Winner trained by R. Alford.

3. Punters Delight Handicap 1,000m: (5-2-3-1) Quizzical (C. Alford) 1; Piece Of Cake (Islam) 2; Exclusive Girl (Tamang) 3; Arizona Star (Sher S.) 4. Won by: 1/2; Nk; 5-1/2; (1-7.6). Tote: Win Rs 30; Place: 15; 13; Quinella: 24; Tanala: 96. Fav: Piece Of Cake (2). Winner trained by Vijay S.

4. Whimbrel Handicap 1,000m: (2-1-3-4) Mameena (C. Alford) 1; Char Bahar (Akhtar) 2; Dancing Fire (Islam) 3; Giltedge (Gowli) 4. Won by: 3-1/4; 3-1/2; 2; (1-5.7). Tote: Win Rs 23; Place: 15; 18; Quinella: 31; Tanala: 86. Fav: Mameena (2). Winner trained by J. Stephens.

5. Mysore Race Club Cup 1,400m: (1-2-3-4) Aquaria (Surender) 1; Kansai (Rabani) 2; Blitzer (Amil) 3; All Heart (C. Alford) 4. Won by: 5-1/4; 2-1/4; 1/2; (1-31). Tote: Win Rs 111; Place: 40; 19; Quinella: 317; Tanala: 1,591. Fav: All Heart (4). Winner trained by Vijay S.

6. Ridicular Handicap 1,200m: (3-5-6-4) Allaying (C. Alford) 1; Scarlet Raider (Gowli) 2; Bul Bul (Yasin) 3; Aliqa (M. Reuben) 4. Won by: 5-1/2; Nk; 2-3/4; (1-20.4). Tote: Win Rs 16; Place: 12; 14; 21; Quinella: 19; Tanala: 81. Fav: Allaying (3). Winner trained by Bharath S.

Jackpot: Rs 2,624; (C) Rs 535.

Treble: (i) Rs 127; (ii) Rs 441.    

Calcutta, July 13 
Sixteen Sixtyfour, No Regrets, Almond Rock and Quickdraw McGraw were impressive from among the following horses exercised here today:

Outer sand track

1,400m: Sixteen Sixtyfour (Amil) and Annella (C. Alford) in 1-47s; (1,000m) 1-18s; (400m) 29s. Former too good.

1,200m: Bernadine (Amil) and Sterling Prospect (C. Alford) in 1-32s; (800m) 57s; (400m) 26 3/5s. Former easily a length better. Auctioneer (C. Alford) in 1-36s; (400m) 27 3/5s. Easy.

Sand track

800m: No Regrets (Manohar) in 52s; (400m) 23s. Moved well. Highland Flame (Rb) in 1-3s; (400m) 29 3/5s. Golden Express (Rutherford) and Dominate (B. Gurang) in 54s; (400m) 24s. Former was superior.

Royal Ruler (B. Gurang) and Rising Chorus (Yadav) in 1-1s (400m) 26s. Former was a neck better. Both were easy.

600m: Almond Rock (Yadav) and

Quickdraw McGraw (Gowli) in 39s; (400m) 23s. Former a length better. Note. Staffordshire (Rb) in 47s; (400m) 26 2/5s. Prizren (Rb) in 47 2/5s; (400m) 28 2/5s.

400m: Jayaashva (Som S.) in 25 4/5s.    


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