Kapil to meet Muthiah tomorrow
Anil, Bobby miss last chance
Bankmen hold Tolly
Mohun Bagan reach semi-finals
SBT hold Tolly
US women down Canada for 4th bridge Olympiad title
Bombay Gym begin with win
Viking may lift command trophy
‘Lover’ triumphs

 
 
KAPIL TO MEET MUTHIAH TOMORROW 
 
 
BY LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Calcutta, Sept. 9: 
The first (and possibly last) full-fledged one-to-one between Board president A.C. Muthiah and national coach Kapil Dev is slated for Monday.

According to well-placed sources of The Telegraph, the meeting will be in Chennai, Muthiah’s home turf.

The two did, of course, have a brief one-to-one in New Delhi last month, but that interaction produced little.

Monday’s meeting, on the other hand, will determine who will wear the coach’s cap in India’s next engagement —- the October 3-15 mini-World Cup in Nairobi.

It’s no secret that an overwhelming majority of the Board officials/members want Kapil replaced, even though one year of his term remains.

Performance, or rather the lack of it, is a central argument where this lobby is concerned. But, then, few in these times will buy that completely.

Manoj Prabhakar’s allegation, in May, and the raids, in July, can’t exactly be wished away as non-events in the Kapil saga.

Where Kapil himself is concerned, it appears he has decided to quit, but perhaps only after one of the government agencies (the income tax department, possibly) clears him.

It remains to be seen whether the clearance, which Kapil seems to be banking on, materialises before he sits down with Muthiah.

In any case, the sports ministry has been doing its bit to keep the Board pegged on the backfoot.

Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa did the ‘needful’ in the lead-up to last Saturday’s selection of probables (for Nairobi). Thereafter, his deputy, Shahnawaz Hussain, has maintained the pressure.

In fact, Hussain has been absolutely Kapil-specific —- that the Board treat him the way it has Mohammed Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja and Nikhil Chopra.

The Board does believe it scored two hits last Saturday: The direct one knocking off the tainted trio and, indirectly, sending a message to Kapil. But the coach isn’t quite the same proposition.

In the past few days, specially, moves (from outside the Board, that is) to ensure at least an honourable exit for Kapil have gained ground. One understands even a high-profile Union minister, on a personal level, has got into the act.

The shape of the honourable-exit formula, however, isn’t clear.

That Kapil doesn’t deserve to be treated in the way he has been — “future” to be decided tomorrow, the day-after and so on — is what is being impressed on top Board officials.

The next 24 hours will determine just how the Board handles the Kapil-issue in the slog overs but, thus far, it has been amateurish and terribly insensitive.

That Muthiah chose an overseas venue (Dubai), earlier in the week, to announce the Board was “seriously” looking at three-overseas options, would only have added to Kapil’s discomfiture.

Former New Zealand captain John Wright (currently coaching Kent) began the week as frontrunner, but Australia’s (1999) World Cup-winning coach Geoff Marsh isn’t far behind.

Now, it is learnt, former Australian captain Greg Chappell is the third option. Greg, who also served as national selector, is involved with coaching at the provincial level (South Australia).

Greg, though, is far from low-profile and so may not be everybody’s choice within the Board. Quite a few officials/members, after all, are in favour of somebody low-profile.

“Not another Kapil,” is how one Board official put it, rather bitingly.

However, neither Wright, Marsh nor Greg is waiting only to hear from the Board. All have commitments of their own and, when negotiations do begin, they could well be time-consuming.

Therefore, a stop-gap arrangement may well see Aunshuman Gaekwad, Kapil’s predecessor, back after 12 months.    


 
 
ANIL, BOBBY MISS LAST CHANCE 
 
 
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
 
New Delhi, Sept. 9: 
It was a day of blunders and misfortunes for the Olympic aspirants at the 2nd Nike Salwan international athletic meet today.

Anil Kumar finished about six metres short of the qualifying mark. The men’s 4x100 relay squad was disqualified for cutting tracks and a piqued Bobby Aloysius withdrew from the women’s high jump, claiming she was informed late and wasn’t mentally prepared.

So the Sydney bound athletics squad remains 24-strong. The secretary of the Amateur Athletic Federation of India (AAFI), Lalit Bhanot, ruled out further additions.

The relay quartet of C.T. Durai, Rajiv Balakrishnan, Anand Menezes and Ajay Raj Singh were unfortunate. They raced against the clock as no opposition was available. The baton exchange was smooth and their timing was marginally better than the 39.70 they clocked at the recent Asian Track and Field Meet in Jakarta. However, the third runner, Menezes switched lanes and the squad was disqualified.

Aloysius criticised the AAFI and said she was informed late last night. She claimed that despite winning a gold medal in Jakarta she was not well treated and no opposition was provided to her. She was the lone entrant and thus withdrew.

The stormy Anil managed only 56.67m in winning the discus throw. It was way below the qualifying mark of 62m and his personal best of 61.30m. Hriday Nand of Police was his only serious competitor. Anil requested the AAFI to take him to Sydney for experience. He said he will be 29 by the 2004 Olympics in Athens and at his peak. Sydney, thus, would provide him valuable experie nce, he said.

Bengal’s Sanjay Rai claimed the long jump title with a leap of 7.53m. Saraswati Dey came third in 100m — clocking 11.78 — behind Safroni Kava Natallia of Belarus and Rachita Mistry. Soma Biswas was a disappointing fifth in long jump with a leap of 5.81m.    


 
 
BANKMEN HOLD TOLLY 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Sept. 9: 
A last-gasp goal brought State Bank of Travancore (SBT) back from the dead in the IFA Shield, after Tollygunge Agragami had looked all ready to ride on Sasthi Duley’s 35th minute strike into the semi-finals at the Rabindra Sarobar today.

The 1-1 draw means that the second slot from this group will now be decided on tie-breaker rules concerning goals scored and conceded should Tollygunge fail to beat or hold Mohun Bagan in the concluding match in group B Monday.

Tollygunge could have shut out SBT in the first half itself if they hadn’t squandered all those scoring chances that came their way.

Abdulateef Seriki set up the goal after squeezing between two defenders and finding Duley at the far post. Duley chested the ball in, but there was vehement protest from SBT players who felt he had handled the ball.

In the second half, Paul Anthony’s free-kick, floated into the Tollygunge box, looked to be in goalkeeper Amit Sinha Roy’s control — till he decided to catch it instead of punching it out of harm’s way.

The ball slipped and ran loose to Asif Shaheer, whose prompt shot came back from the post but into the path of Abdul Noushad. The medio made no mistake.    


 
 
MOHUN BAGAN REACH SEMI-FINALS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Sept. 9: 
Mohun Bagan rode roughshod over a lacklustre George Telegraph to storm into the semi-finals of the IFA Shield today. After Jose Ramirez Barreto opened the scoreline in the first half, R.C. Prakash and substitute Satyajit Chatterjee struck in the second session.

Mohun Bagan could have won by at least six goals had Barreto not squandered three gilt-edged opportunities. He shot straight to the goalkeeper twice, while, on another occasion, the ball rebounded off the inner edge of the bar.

George Telegraph had very little ammunition in their ranks to offer. In their efforts to stop the Bagan attacks down the middle, they let open the flanks. This helped the overlapping Dulal Biswas make good use of the right wing. His crosses proved too hot for George defence..

Bagan, though, were not much enterprising in the first half. Their attacks lacked mobility and direction. But the introduction of Jayanta Sen and Satyajit Chatterjee in the second half brought the necessary sting into their attack.

Bagan took the lead in the 25th minute. As Dulal’s cross landed in the box, Joao Santos along with a defender went for the header. The ball brushed the rear of Santos’ head and dropped near Barreto, whose volley was bang on target.

The second goal in the 61st minute was the result of a combined effort. Jayanta’s forward through was pushed back into the box from an acute angle near the goalline by Santos. Prakash redirected it to the goal.

Satyajit struck his maiden goal this season when he placed R.P. Singh’s backheel into the far corner of the net following a Dulal cross. The Bagan goal looked under threat only once when Pratap Senapati’s shot was fisted out of harm’s way by Sandip Nandy in the first half.

TEAMS

MOHUN BAGAN: Sandip Nandy, Dulal Biswas (Sammy Omollo, 83), Hussain Mustafi, M. Suresh, Lolendra Singh, R.P. Singh, Debjit Ghosh, Naushad Pari (Jayanta Sen, 46), R.C. Prakash, Jose Ramirez Barreto, Joao Santos (Satyajit Chatterjee, 63).

GEORGE TELEGRAPH: Shahbuddin Mollah, Sukumar Mallick, Sujit Neogi, Rajesh Passi, Kutubuddin Sepai, Gourav Dutta, S. Rudra, Swarup Chatterjee, Dibyendu Pal Chowdhury (Lalvulluaza, 59), Arunava Sarkar, Pratap Senapati.

Referee: Binod K. Singh.    


 
 
SBT HOLD TOLLY 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Sept. 9: 
A last-gasp goal brought State Bank of Travancore (SBT) back from the dead in the IFA Shield, after Tollygunge Agragami had looked all ready to ride on Sasthi Duley’s 35th minute strike into the semi-finals at the Rabindra Sarobar today.

The 1-1 draw means that the second slot from this group will now be decided on tie-breaker rules concerning goals scored and conceded should Tollygunge fail to beat or hold Mohun Bagan in the concluding match in group B Monday.

Tollygunge could have shut out SBT in the first half itself if they hadn’t squandered all those scoring chances that came their way.

Abdulateef Seriki set up the goal after squeezing between two defenders and finding Duley at the far post. Duley chested the ball in, but there was vehement protest from SBT players who felt he had handled the ball.

In the second half, Paul Anthony’s free-kick, floated into the Tollygunge box, looked to be in goalkeeper Amit Sinha Roy’s control — till he decided to catch it instead of punching it out of harm’s way.

The ball slipped and ran loose to Asif Shaheer, whose prompt shot came back from the post but into the path of Abdul Noushad. The medio made no mistake.

   


 
 
US WOMEN DOWN CANADA FOR 4TH BRIDGE OLYMPIAD TITLE 
 
 
BY SANTANU GHOSE
 
 
Six Texan ladies, Mildred Breed, Joan Jackson, Robin Klar, Shawn Quinn, Peggy Sutherlin and Petra Hamman, led by the latter’s superstar husband Bob as non-playing captain, gave the US their fourth women’s Olympiad title in the 11th World Teams Bridge Olympiad at Maastricht.

In the 96-board final that ended around midnight on Friday, the US defeated Canada by 32 imps, 176 to 144, Quinn successfully defending the title she had won in 1996. Starting the day down 47-50, the US settled the issue with a 96-49 session and another of 55-30 to lead by 63 imps with two sets to go. There was only one two-digit gain for Canada during these 32 boards when Quinn-Breed wrong-sided a no-trump game.

In contrast, there were six major losses — on one Quinn guessed the location of two jacks to land a game that went down at the other three tables (including two in the Open) — and another when Lacroix-Cimon took a phantom save. Particularly off-form were Thorpe-Gordon, They missed a game bid by all, bid game in suit on 4-3, bid a no-hope slam and then overshot to five spades. Canada won the last two sets by 14 and 17 but they were clearly outplayed.

In the Open final, Italy have taken a 40-imp lead over Poland after 96 boards. Starting the day 14-imp ahead, Italy added six in the first set thanks to Lauria dropping a doubleton queen offside in a 4-3 suit aided by the knowledge of the Poles being super-light openers. In the next set, the Italians picked up 41 imps, 64 to 23, to take a half-time lead of 61. The only Polish gain came when Lauria-Versace wrong-sided a game. On the other hand, they suffered five big losses, two by reaching no-hope slams, one being a grand missing an ace. To add to their woes, Kwiecien misplayed a game made by all and Pszczola failed to guess the opening lead on a blind auction.

The last Italian gain was a case of fortune favouring the brave. Duboin, in the face of an enemy capture, boldly bid no-trumps with jack-third of their suit opposite three small but the enemy suit was blocked allowing three no-trumps to make, while the Poles got to three of a running minor, down on a cross-ruff.

Poland fought back, recovering 34 imps in the next set with three big gains, making a slam on a 3-3 break, Bochhi-Duboin missing a 35-point slam and Lauria-Versace down in an anti-percentage grand. Italy’s only gain came when good defence by Lauria duped Jassem of Poland into adopting a losing line. The other matches were dull, Italy adding 13 to end the day up 197 to 157, with 32 more boards to play late on Saturday.

In the 48-board play-offs for the bronze, the US beat England 197-157 in the Open, while German women outclassed Norway 140-84. In the Transnational Mixed Teams, e-Bridge and Bessis qualified for the final.

RESULTS

Open finals: Men — Italy lead Poland 197-157. Women — US bt Canada 176-144.    


 
 
BOMBAY GYM BEGIN WITH WIN 
 
 
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, Sept. 9: 
Bombay Gymkhana began their title-defence with a 66-5 win over Chennai Cheetahs in the Famous Grouse all-India and South Asia rugby meet at the CC&FC today. Maharashtra State Police overcame Young Rugby 31-15 while Greater Mumbai Police drubbed Orissa 75-0.

RESULTS: Bombay Gym 66 (N. Hussain 3 tries, Steven 8 conversions) bt Chennai Cheetahs 5; MSP 31 (S. Kadam 2 tries) btYoung Rugby 15; GMP 75 (G. Rana, Sachin Naskar 3 tries each) bt Orissa 0.

AIFF may help academy

The Nikhil Nandy Football Academy at Michael Nagar in Madhyamgram, may soon be bailed out of financial difficulties by the AIFF. Responding to a request from the former Olympian after whom the centre is named, the AIFF deputed Asoke Ghose, one of its vice-presidents, to inspect. Nandy says he spends around Rs 3 lakh a year to run the free camp.

Soumen to lead

Soumen Bhattacharya will lead the state team at the East Zone inter-state badminton meet in Patna on Tuesday and Wednesday.

THE SQUAD: Men — Soumen Bhattacharya (captain), Arup Baidya, Kanishka Das, Sanjoy Das, Amandeep Sekhri, Pronob Das, Anirban Mukherjee, Arindam Mukherjee, Sarbojit Bhowmick, Sudip Bhattacharya.

Women— Amrita Bhattacharya, Barnali Raha, Debasree Dey, Amrita Mukherjee, Sohini Chatterjee, Aditi Konar. Coach: Subhas Dey. TD & manager: Ramen Ghosh.

Kalighat keep quartet

Kalighat Club retained Murtaza Lodhgar, Humza Ferozie, Charanjit Singh and Safi Ahmed at the CAB inter-club transfers today.    

 
 
VIKING MAY LIFT COMMAND TROPHY 
 
 
BY HONKY DORY
 
 
Sitting pretty at the weights, Viking is expected to bag the 1,600m Southern Command Gold Trophy at the Pune races on Sunday. B. Prakash partners the Vinayak-trained four-year-old.

SELECTIONS

1.45 pm: Ride The Lightning 1. Momentous Mover 2.

2.15 pm: Blades Of Fury 1. Prabhuti 2. Camaro 3.

2.45 pm: Smart Hunter 1. Royal Partner 2. Star Burst 3. 3.15 pm: Furiously 1. Merry Millennium 2. Nothing Better 3.

3.45 pm: Viking 1. Signal Tap 2. Regal Equity 3.

4.30pm: Queen Of Romance 1. Adam’s Touch 2. Great Magician 3.

5 pm: Draculla 1. Day’s Of Thunder 2. Adam’s Legend 3.

Day’s Best: Viking
Double: Smart Hunter & Furiously    

 
 
‘LOVER’ TRIUMPHS 
 
 
 
 
Ridden by Aadesh Kumar, the M. Shah-trained Dream Lover spurted to an easy victory in the 1,100m Justice S. R. Tendolkar Trophy in Pune on Saturday.

RESULTS

(With inter-state dividends) 1. Mahomadeli Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (7-9-4) Northern Temptress (Aadesh) 1; Come Prima 2; Philosopher 3. Won by: 3/4; 8; (1-28.9). Tote: Win Rs 93; Place: 20; 22; 29; Quinella: 322; Tanala: 3,800. Fav: Tiger Talk (1).

2. Track Lightning Trophy 1,800m:(2-4-7) Knighted (Prakash) 1; Rapallo 2; Sanaga 3. Won by:1/2; 1-1/4; (1-56.7).Tote: Win Rs 39; Place: 14; 11; 19; Quinella: 29; Tanala: 228. Fav: Rapallo (4).

3. Shah-Zaar Plate 1,400m: (4-3-6) Gold Dust (P. Deora) 1; Sonalika 2; Kargil 3. Won by: 1/2; 1-3/4; (1-27.6). Tote: Win Rs 46; Place: 18; 15; 33; Quinella: 86; Tanala: 1,110. Fav: Realism (2).

4. Mahomadeli Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (7-1-12) Sarena Pride (R. Pandey) 1; Moira 2; Waltzing Matilda 3. Won by: 2-3/4; 3/4; (1-31). Tote: Win Rs 82; Place: 18; 18; 30; Quinella: 165; Tanala: 4,838. Fav: Exhilarating (5).

5. Neola Plate 1,400m: (8-9-3) Dhanadal (Aadesh) 1; Let’s Have Fun 2; Metronomic 3. Won by: 1-3/4; 1; (1-28.6). Tote: Win Rs 44; Place: 18; 21; 29; Quienlla: 142; Tanala: 1,982. Fav: Cristina (5).

6. Red Surprise Plate 1,000m: (7-3-2) Yukazon (T. Jodha) 1; Fushia 2; History 3. Not run: Candescent (5). Won by: 2; 2-3/4; (1-2.3). Tote: Win Rs 114; Place: 22; 13; 15; Quinella: 177; Tanala: 612. Fav: History (2).

7. Justice S. R. Tendolkar Trophy 1,100m: (10-5-14) Dream Lover (Aadesh) 1; Shirley Valentine 2; Zee Green 3. Won by: 1; SH; (1-8.6). Tote: Win Rs 48; Place: 15; 12; 57; Quinella: 27; Tanala: 980. Fav: Shirley Valentine (5).

8. Par Avion Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (7-8-11) Zaka (Prakash) 1; Equity 2; Loyal Rebel 3. Won by:1-3/4; 5-1/2; (1-15.3). Tote:Win Rs 37; Place: 18; 15; 55; Quinella: 51; Tanala: 1,623. Fav: Equity (8).

9. Par Avion Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (6-2-9) Special Crown (Rajendra) 1; Batroyale 2; Adam’s Delight 3. Not run: Just Contingency (8). Won by: 2 3/4; 1-3/4; (1-15.4). Tote:Win Rs 38; Place: 17; 14; 42; Quinella: 38; Tanala: 1,076. Fav: Batroyale (2).

Jackpot: Rs 20,894; (C) Rs 3,407.

Treble: (i) Rs 1,492; (ii) Rs 5,540; (iii) Rs 552.    

 

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