Board may opt for escape route
East Bengal unimpressive in win
Mohun Bagan favourites
A person can’t be in charge of one sport for decad
Aracruz may justify recent form
Stars fancied

 
 
BOARD MAY OPT FOR ESCAPE ROUTE 
 
 
BY LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Calcutta, Aug.4 
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could play ‘safe’ and announce only the probables for next month’s Sahara Cup, rather than the squad, on Thursday.

That the squad will be named next week has already been announced by BCCI secretary Jaywant Lele.

According to well-placed sources of The Telegraph, as the five-match series versus Pakistan begins only on September 9, “there is no great hurry” to pick the 14/15-strong squad as early as next week.

More so as Income Tax (IT) raids/questioning continue and the scope of the IT and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiries may overnight be enlarged.

That, as sources fear, could lead to fresh skeletons tumbling out of the many cupboards already subjected to scrutiny.

Worse, as a source put it: “There may be a new, stunning development...”

By naming just the probables — perhaps 20-22 — the BCCI will have an escape route should clinching evidence against anybody surface before shortlisting the Toronto-bound 14/15.

Idea, it seems, will be to delay the actual finalising till the “very last minute.”

[However, such an exercise could become redundant if the Union government does a repeat of 1999 and declines permission for India to play in Canada.

Step No.1 towards such permission is the sports ministry’s recommendation.]

Predictably, the immediate ‘worry’ revolves around Mohammed Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja and Nikhil Chopra. Coach Kapil Dev, too.

Though Union sports minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa is sticking to his “they-should-step-down-on-moral-grounds” stand, the BCCI is undecided on perhaps issuing a formal directive to the selectors.

The directive, if it does come about, will be specific to the exclusion of those under a cloud. But, if the directive doesn’t materialise, the ball — rather unfairly — will wholly be in the selectors’ court.

They will, of course, have to strictly go by cricket-merit. They aren’t around to judge other issues.

It is understood that while the BCCI may not back-track on its “innocent-till-proved-guilty” posture, efforts could still be made to “encourage a tactical pull-out.”

From among the probables and, if it comes to that, the squad itself.

As the IT/CBI raids have also been conducted on the BCCI headquarters (Mumbai) and the residence/office of treasurer Kishore Rungta, the BCCI has definitely been put in an awkward position vis-a-vis the Azharuddins.

Significantly, while Kapil’s contract is till September 2001, there may be a re-think at the BCCI’s August 19 working committee meeting in Bangalore.    


 
 
EAST BENGAL UNIMPRESSIVE IN WIN 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 4 
It was to have been routine stuff for a team like East Bengal. Victory over the likes of Eastern Railway can be considered an established privilege. For 77 minutes into the Super Division League match this afternoon it did not seem quite so. The fact that East Bengal did manage a goal that was also the winner, is not news enough.

Not much was important in the match per se. A great deal of lazy, bumbling moves and a home side most definitely bereft of the attacking bite. Anit Ghosh was off colour, and even Jackson Egygopong was none-too enthusiastic. There was some effort on the part of Bijen Singh upfront, but his man-in-line Srikanta Dutta fought shy of confrontations.

Despite all that, East Bengal never really faced any difficulty in reaching the rival defence zone whenever they wished. Thereafter, though, they lost all track of the target.

It started in the first minute. Carlton Chapman forwarded charge to an overlapping Jackson, whose shot in the milieu of legs was returned, but Isiaka then shot out from close range.

East Bengal did not have a gameplan — not that they needed one, anyway — and Bijen Singh was trying many of his back-volleys. The Bhaichung Bhutia touch, of course, was not forthcoming.

At hand with help was Sur Kumar Singh, sometimes, loping up the right. In the 17th minute he was up, from the midline, weaving past a couple of defenders, and was atop the rival box. The low left-footed volley was a beauty, taking the far post before moving out. Encouragement enough, one thought, for renewed vigour from the home side. As it transpired, little changed by way of attitude.

In the 19th-minute Bijen was up the right, sending a cross to Srikanta at the goalmouth, but a railway defender cleared in time.

In the 22nd minute there was a flutter of sorts in the East Bengal defence. A Jackson backpass was almost taken in with his hands by goalkeeper Shibram De. Late vocal warnings had De try his leg, tentatively, but Eastern Railway attacker Monojit Sarkar, thereabouts, did not have the presence of mind to charge the situation.

Four minutes later a sudden Bijen volley from inside the box was well saved by Eastern Railway goalkeeper Susanta Malik.

The fact that Eastern Railway had beaten Tollygunge Agragami in their last outing was cutting no ice. This team was beaten too early.

The attacks started all over from the first minute of the new session — a Dipendu miss before Bijen shot out from close. In the 54th minute another Sur Kumar left-footer, a grounder, had railway ’keeper Malik quickly collecting — Malik stood out in the mediocrity of his team.

Soon the crowd at the railway goalmouth was suffocating. The sky was overcast and the light was falling. And the home side was fast losing sight of the elusive win.

In the 32nd minute of the second session, off a Sur Kumar corner from the right, Bijen tried a back volley that rose the wrong way. Dipendu, though, was at hand to redirect the ball into the netting through a header.

The worst case scenario was the referee of the day, Kalidas Mukherjee. He was never near the ball, often forgot to signal the stretcher, failed to note the frequent ‘dives’, and last, but not the least, even allowed injured players to get back in from past the goalline. Mukherjee is a glaring example that the standards of supervision have been far from satisfactory of late.    


 
 
MOHUN BAGAN FAVOURITES 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 4 
Those were the days when a Mohun Bagan-Mohammedan Sporting match would be termed a ‘Big’ match. It would come with the accompaniment of tensions and preparations, et al.

Tomorrow, Mohun Bagan meet Mohammedan Sporting, in their first Super Division tie, and IFA has termed it an ‘Exhibition Match’, whatever that means in these days, and has scheduled it for the Salt Lake Stadium. That’s a whole lot of preface to a minor body of text.

Mohun Bagan start favourites tomorrow. Their last match (versus Salkia Friends) was abandoned midway. They were leading via a Jose Ramirez Barreto goal. That was after they shared two goals with East Bengal.

Mohammedan Sporting, in their part, were stopped, barren, by George Telegraph. Yet, the whiff of competition survives, the forward line of Nazim-ul Haque and Abdul Khalique can yet deliver, and the half line of Bastab Roy and Kasif Jamal and Srikrishna Ghosh can still do the feeding.

Of course, the Aslam Pervezs in defence will have Brazillians Barreto and minion Joao Santos to contend with.

Mohun Bagan have 10 points from four matches, Mohammedan Sporting 11 from six.

Taltala Institute win

Taltala Institute and Sporting Union notched up wins in their IFA league first division Group B matches here today. Taltala beat Barisha 3-1, while Sporting beat Kalighat Feriends 2-1. In another match Customs and Calcutta Police shared two goals.

Soumen Mondal put Police ahead, but was later sent off with two bookings. Customs equalised via Chandan De. Sanjay Chakraborty and Sudip Banik (2) scored for Taltala, Barisha replied through Joydeb Chowdhury.

National umpires

Four umpires from the Bengal Hockey Association (BHA) have been declared promoted as ‘national umpires’, says a release issued by the BHA today. They are: Akbar Ali, Amalesh Guha, Md Khalid Hossain and William Bara.    


 
 
A PERSON CAN’T BE IN CHARGE OF ONE SPORT FOR DECAD 
 
 
 
 
A few days back the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India presented to the Minister for Sport and Youth Affairs the vision report of the game. It, of course, does not specify how far ahead the Board is looking at. After all, sight differs from person to person and while some may be long sighted, some others may not be so. While there are some laudable points in the vision report, there is one glaring omission and that is regarding the constitution of the Board which ensures that some delegates are there almost forever.

At the meeting that the minister had called in April to discuss an action plan for Indian cricket, Chetan Chauhan had made a plea for a model constitution to be drawn by the Government of India to apply to all the sporting federations and associations. In fact, Chauhan had made the plea many years earlier too. No action taken then and the likelihood is that no action will be taken even now, for it would affect the prospects of so many already in these associations and federations.

We are a few weeks away from the Sydney Olympics and when we come back from there you can be sure to read the familiar story that a country of one billion people cannot produce an Olympic medal winner.

It will only be a rehash of stories done after previous Olympic Games participation. This will be followed by questions in Parliament and, after a few days, that will be the end of the matter. The ones who will get the penalties will be the players and so a few top names will get dropped or be forced to retire, the selection panel changed, the managers and the coaches sacked but those who appoint them will carry on and on and on and go and attend all the international meetings, travelling in style while the players to the international competitions slug it out in the cheapest fares.

It is for this reason that Chauhan’s plea for a model constitution makes sense. We simply cannot afford to have the same people in charge of one sport for decades on end, with no progress or results to show for the work, yes honorary work that they do. At least the cricket Board has got fixed terms for their office bearers, so there is constant change in the administration.

The only problem is that some who have occupied the highest position, say that of the president of the Board, still come to the meetings as the representatives of the state associations. As I’ve said before, it is almost like the chairman or managing director of a company coming back as an employee of the same company.

It is this that needs to be stopped, for if the same people are going to be around, then how are fresh and modern ideas going to be brought into the game. There is always the excuse given that since the elections to the posts are democratic so there should be no objections, but the most important point is who elects them? Have a look at the constitutions and Articles of Association of the state associations and one will find that only a select few can cast their votes. So in such a scenario, it should not be difficult to get elected again and again.

That is why it is a must in the new millennium, for the government to formulate a model constitution, so that no official can stay around and rule the sport like his/her personal fiefdom. Sure every discipline of sport will have different requirements for efficient administration and that can be taken into account so that terms of office can be most productive and effective.

If that means the term of the cricket official should be four years, while that of another sport five years, so be it, but the number of terms should not be more than two. After all, even the most powerful man in the world, the President of the US only has two terms of four years each.

It is also important to decide who will be the electorate at the elections to the various posts of the sporting federations. Having personal staff like drivers, peons, accountants and the like vote for an official, will only mean continuous election of the official and his family members. In cricket, for the national federation one would like to see all those who have played for India, whether in Tests or one-day Internationals, being the voters, as also from those who have played more than 50 first class matches.

One would also like to see former Board presidents, secretaries and treasurers being allowed to vote and from the media, the president or his nominee of the state/city sports journalists association. Obviously anybody would be eligible to stand for election, whether he is an ex-player or not and whether he has never held a bat in his life.

It is then for the voter to decide whether to elect ex-players to the posts or those who have never played the game or barely played it at a lower level. Today a lot of cricketers who want to come into administration shy away because of the fact that their fate would be decided by those who have hardly played the game but if they know that the decision to have them or not as administrators will be made by those who have played the game, then there will be more cricketers who will offer their services as administrators. But, of course, all this is just wishful thinking. Nothing has happened for the last 53 years since independence, so why should anything happen now. I would love to be proved wrong though!

PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT GROUP    


 
 
ARACRUZ MAY JUSTIFY RECENT FORM 
 
 
BY STAR RACER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 4 
Punters had a ball in the last two race meetings. It may be the turn of satchemen to strike back. The six event card framed for the day appears to have many a pitfalls thus exercise cation. However, the main event, the 1,400m Calcutta Fillies Trial Stakes may see the Green Forest-Bauneamon daughter Aracruz justifying her odds. A smashing winner on July 26, the Bharath Singh-trainee will be partnered by the in-form champion jockey Cristopher Alford.

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

Aztec Cup 1,800m (Cl III—Rated 22-72)

1 2103 Aldebro [Vijay] C. Alford 60.0 4

2 2113 Too Soon To Tell [Javed] Manohar S. 58.5 1

3 4010 Charlene [Bharath] S. Rabani 51.5 2

4 3000 Deep Star [Vijay] Ravinder S. 48.5 3

1. deep star (4) 2. aldebro (1) 3. too soon to tell (2)

Deep Star: A big failure over middle distances in Bangalore. Vijay Singh’s magic may set things right. Aldebro: Weight may prove a stopper. Too Soon To Tell: May place.

Not Much Handicap 1,000m (Cl IV,5-y-o & over Rt. 22-50) — Indian jockeys only

1 0040 Giltedge [R. Alford] Rutherford A. 60.5 4

2 0133 Constantine [Karki] Saran S. 58.5 3

3 1443 Analyzer [David] Ravinder S. 58.0 5

4 2200 As You Please [Rodrigues] G. Upadhya 57.5 7

5 0044 Silver Raising [Javed] M. Reuben 57.0 1

6 0003 Heaven’s Blessing [Bath] S. Shanker 56.0 6

7 0022 Floral Path [Bath] Md Islam 55.0 8

8 1300 Swingtime [Mujeeb] Md Yacoob 52.0 2

9 - 201 Run Ahead [Mujeeb] Haroon K. 51.0 9

1. run ahead (9) 2. giltedge (1) 3. heaven’s blessing (6)

Run Ahead: Impressive in Starry Flag’s barrier trial. May start as a favourite. Giltedge: Virtually at the same mark after demotion. Heaven’s Blessing: May place.

Clamp Handicap 1,200m (Cl V, — Rt. 00-28) — Indian jockeys only

1 0000 Flying Power [Karki] Amjad K. 60.5 2

2 3232 Double Dancer [Javed] M. Reuben 59.5 6

3 0000 Art Smart [Karki] Saran S. 55.5 5

4 0410 Quizzical [Vijay] Md Islam 55.0 3

5 - - -0 Arroway [David] A. P. Singh 53.0 4

6 - 000 Little Boy Blue [Rodrigues] G. Upadhya 51.5 1

1. little boy blue (6) 2. quizzical (4) 3. double dancer (2)

Little Boy Blue: Ignore his winter form. Fit and could topple all. Quizzical: Met with a check at a crucial juncture. Merits another chance. Double Dancer: May place.

Calcutta Fillies Trial Stakes 1,400m (Terms, 3-y-o only)

1 0211 Allaying [Bharath] S. Rabani 54.5 1

2 - 321 Alterezza [Vijay] Md Amil 51.0 4

3 - 331 Alvarada [Vijay] Ravinder S. 51.0 2

4 0321 Aracruz [Bharath] C. Alford 51.0 5

5 -312 Ardon [R. Alford] R. Gowli 51.0 3

1. aracruz (4) 2. alvarada (3) 3. allaying (1)

Aracruz: In smashing form. Could walk away with the classic. Alvarada: Will relish the trip more than anyone. May Upset.Allaying: May place.

Orange William Cup 1,200m (Cl I—Rt. 88 & over)

1 0011 Mystic Hill [Vijay] S. Shanker 62.0 6

2 0030 No Surrender [Javed] M. Reuben 58.0 3

3 2432 Acquest [Vijay] Ravinder S. 58.0 1

4 - - -0 Tsavo [D. David] G. Upadhya 57.0 4

5 2043 Adventure [Vijay] C. Alford 56.5 8

6 0104 Quickdraw McGraw [R. Alford] Manohar S. 54.5 9

7 0002 Head Hunter [R. Alford] R. Gowli 52.0 2

8 2002 Clarice Cliff [Bharath] S. Rabani 48.0 7

9 4031 Jeweller [Vijay] Md Amil 47.5 5

1. Tsavo (4) 2. clarice cliff (8) 3. adventure (5)

Tsavo: At a comfortable mark. Benefited by a barrier-trial, too. Clarice Cliff: Best at the weights. Just needs to reproduce his winter form. Adventure: Upset, if any.

Matchlock Handicap 1,400m (Cl IV—Rt. 22-50) — Indian jockeys only

1 0104 Scavenger’s Son [David] M. Reuben 60.0 3

2 0024 Go With The Wind [R. Alford] P. Alford 59.0 9

3 4212 Crucible [Vijay] C. Alford 58.5 1

4 0304 Black Mane [Karki] Saran S. 56.5 8

5 0030 Master Charlie [Rodrigues] Brij S. 55.0 4

6 0040 Jayaashva [Mujeeb] Som S. 55.0 5

7 0000 Alkido [Bharath] Dalpat S. 55.0 2

8 1023 Bul Bul [P. Locke] N. Engineer 52.5 6

9 4204 Tequila Shot [Bath] S. Shanker 50.0 7

1. crucible (3) 2. Bul Bul (8) 3. black mane (4)

Crucible: Running over a trip he is most comfortable at. May take some beating. Bul Bul: Always a threat overthe present trip. Black Mane: Upset, if any.

Day’s Best: Crucible Double: Run Ahead & Aracruz    


 
 
STARS FANCIED 
 
 
BY HONKY DORY
 
 
Working well, the S. Mody-trained four-year-old filly Stars In Her Eyes is taken to win the 1,600m Tosca Trophy in Pune on Saturday.

SELECTIONS

1.30 pm: Pink Floyd 1. Diane In Demand 2. Proper Pride 3.

2 pm: Stone Ridge 1. Cozumel 2. Crowning Moment 3.

2.30: The Midnight Sun 1. Camaro 2. Pyramid Power 3.

3 pm: Safarando 1. Merry Millennium 2. Master Honey 3.

3.30 pm: Absolute Hit 1. Blue Water 2. Tasha Beat 3.

4 pm: Victory Waltz 1. Spice Boy 2. Realism 3.

4.30 pm: Stars In Her Eyes 1. Legendary Lover 2. Mariella 3.

5 pm: Roman Holiday 1. Abandoned 2. Boy George 3.

5.30 pm: As A Rule 1. Chocolate Chip 2. Coronado 3.

Day’s Best: The Midnight Sun

Double: Safarando & Absolute Hit.    

 

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