Aussies expect a ‘tough game’ vs India
Kenya need exposure: Chudasama
Purulia school annex Subroto Cup via last-minute goal
Mohun Bagan protest
Free Kick/Lack of planning the root cause of india
Calcutta Races/Alvarada cruises to victory
Track trials
Mysore Races/So Royal may be hard to down

 
 
AUSSIES EXPECT A ‘TOUGH GAME’ VS INDIA 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Nairobi, Oct. 4: 
Kenya may not be the hottest team around, but the comfort with which India beat them yesterday, in the ICC KnockOut Kenya 2000-opener, has made the Australians sit up and take notice somewhat.

India meet the world champions Saturday, in the first quarter final.

“Well, we aren’t expecting anything less than a very tough game,” remarked John Buchanan, the Australian coach, during a brief chat with The Telegraph this afternoon. It was a day off from workouts, and Buchanan chose to drop in at the Sri Lanka-West Indies match.

It wasn’t a random decision: The Windies will be touring Down Under later this season and Buchanan wanted to have a first-hand look at Jimmy Adams and Co. That, for you, is the ultimate in planning. More of that, though, some other time...

“The current Indian team has quite a new faces, yes, but the core still is very experienced... It’s obvious the newcomers are fired up,” Buchanan added. He had high praise for newcomer Zaheer Khan, specially: “I think he used the new-ball exceedingly well and, later, picked up wickets with smart yorkers...”

Though the world champions had a practice game against England yesterday (it ended in a tie), Buchanan was more focussed on the TV screen, watching the India-Kenya telecast. As Zaheer is one of those who didn’t tour Australia last season, it’s pretty certain Buchanan was preparing a dossier on him.

Of course, the world champions trampled India in their last set of engagements — winning all four Carlton and United Series matches — but it’s a one-off shootout here and nothing can be taken for granted.

“We haven’t played competitive cricket after mid-August, so we are a trifle short on actual play. However, we’ve been in Nairobi for some days and have been training in our customary planned manner,” Buchanan, who keeps a low-profile but is an absolute master, remarked.

But does pressure continue to be greater because Australia are world champions?

Buchanan smiled and replied: “Not any more... We’ve played a number of tournaments/series since formally emerging No.1, haven’t we?”

It was an off-day for India as well. While Robin Singh and Sunil Joshi availed of optional personal-initiative nets, most of the others chose to visit Lake Nakuru, some two hours from here.

It will be back to business from tomorrow.    


 
 
KENYA NEED EXPOSURE: CHUDASAMA 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Nairobi, Oct. 4: 
The end of Kenya’s 1999 World Cup campaign also saw the close of senior pro Dipak Chudasama’s innings. More than a year after quitting, Kenya’s first one-day centurion feels he couldn’t have timed his exit better.

“I was just past 36 and, really, couldn’t afford to ignore my professional career (he is among the most sought-after dentists here) any more... No, I doubt if I would have given it a re-think even if Kenyan cricket had lots more to offer monetarily,” Dipak, who idolised Sunil Gavaskar, told The Telegraph last night.

He first played for Kenya (against the MCC) in 1982, and though there was a studies-induced break, his innings spanned 17 overs. “The highpoints were the World Cup appearances, in 1996 and last year, and that world-record stand with Kennedy Otieno,” Dipak remarked with only a trace of emotion.

Otieno and Dipak put on 225 for the opening-wicket against Bangladesh, in 1997, eclipsing the 212 by David Boon and Geoff Marsh (versus India, in 1986). Less than a year later, however, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly did even better — 252 against Sri Lanka.

Incidentally, in his now permanent avatar, Dipak’s patients include British armymen based at the high-altitude training camp not far from the Kenyan capital. He works out of the Nairobi Hospital.

A double-international (cricket and table tennis), like former captain Asif Karim (cricket and tennis), Dipak believes cricket in Kenya is somewhat on the right track, but improvement can only come about with exposure. The players to watch, according to him, are Ravindu Shah and Thomas Odoyo.

“Till we regularly get to play ODIs, one should only look at how competitive the Kenyan team is, over the seven hours or so of a match, and not the result. This entire year, we’ve just played one ODI and, as we lost that (yesterday), will now again have to wait for another game. Hardly the ideal situation,” Dipak lamented.

The good thing, though, is that Blacks are now taking to cricket in a big way.

“The schools are getting involved, which is an encouraging sign, as the future of cricket in Kenya will rest with the Blacks. Indeed today, most of the youngsters of Indian origin, specially, prefer going overseas for higher studies rather than playing cricket. And, so, it’s the Blacks who will have to sustain the game,” he pointed out.

Dipak’s own roots are in Gujarat and he is a graduate from Chandigarh’s DAV College. He qualified as a doctor, specialising in dentistry, from Manipal near Bangalore. That is paying excellent dividends.

Of course, not all Kenyan cricketers (past/present) are as well-off as him, a point he made (purely as an illustration) during our conversation.

“I’ve been fortunate in that I had a pro career to fall back on, but few enjoy this comfort... Yes, the players are now being paid a retainership, but it barely makes ends meet. Today, cricket itself should be a viable career option,” Dipak said.

That, surely, will attract greater numbers to cricket. As of now, cricket is only the No.3/4 sport. Soccer and athletics are clear leaders while rugby, too, could edge out cricket.

Any increase in cricket’s ratings, in these parts, will please the Dipaks more than anybody else.    


 
 
PURULIA SCHOOL ANNEX SUBROTO CUP VIA LAST-MINUTE GOAL 
 
 
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
 
New Delhi, Oct. 4: 
A last-minute goal by makeshift right winger Sheikh Abdul Matin enabled Rangadih High School, Purulia emerge champions in the Subroto Mukherjee Cup football tournament today. In a battle of attrition, they overcame Army Boys, Danapur 1-0 to become the seventh school from Bengal to annex the title.

They also emulated Madhyamgram’s feat of winning the Subroto Cup without conceding a goal in 1982. This is the 16th time that a Bengal team has won the title.

But never before has a team triumphed after having had to battle so much adversity. On the eve of the final, striker Tanumoy Ghosh, suspected to have contacted typhoid, had to be shifted to a hospital. Ritesh Mukhi was sidelined with two yellow cards. Three of their players were also scratched for being overaged. Rangadih HS, thus, won the final, with just 13 players and one regular forward, left-winger Sudip Khan.

Sixteen-year-old goalkeeper Subashish Roy Chowdhury, who idolises Hemanta Dora and Fabien Barthez, starred in Rangadih’s triumph. In the second half, he made three stunning saves. He blocked Army Boys’ midfielder Sumbrai’s pile driver from close range, then dived full length to grip a header from Ramrai Soren and tipped over left-winger Sajal Natta’s volley over the bar.

Two minutes before the final whistle, midfielder Shankar Debnath put Sudip Khan through on the left with a delectable pass. Sudip’s low cross beat the Danapur school’s defence but an onrushing Abdul Matin sliced his shot wide.

In injury time, Amjad Hussain dribbled his way into the box. He then flicked to an unmarked Matin, who cut in and scored with a low angular left-footer.

TEAMS

RANGADIH HS: Subashish Roy Chowdhury, Mohammed Sayeed, Sunil Mahato (captain), Shyamal Das, Subhendu Hui, Sheikh Abdul Matin, Shankar Debnath, Ashim Tiru, Amjad Hussain, Jitesh Hembram and Sudip Khan.
ARMY BOYS, DANAPUR: Robin Mazumdar, Raju Sil, Ramrai Soren, Bimal Bahadur Thapa, Niraj Kiran Guria, Mrinimoy Sil, Gabli Sumbrai, Ashim Biswas, Barieri Murmu, Biplab Dhar and Sajal Natta.
Referee: N. Mohan.

Stringent medical tests

For the first-time ever the Subroto Cup organisers were stringent about the medicial tests this year. Forty eight boys in the under-17 tournament and a record 75 boys in the sub-junior (u-14 years) Subroto Cup were disqualified for being overaged.

The Subroto Cup was conducted this year without any sponsors. However, the winners were richer by Rs 15,000 while the runners-up bagged Rs 10,000. Each player was given a blazer and a Subroto Cup tie.

Five players, incuding two from Bengal were chosen for the annual scholarship. They are goalkeeper Subashish Roy Chowdhury, indisposed striker Tanumoy Ghosh, Army Boys’ Asim Biswas, Milan Thapa of NNC XI, Pune and defender G. Lalanghakliana of Govt. HS, Mizoram.    


 
 
MOHUN BAGAN PROTEST 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Oct. 4: 
The Indian Football Association (IFA) yesterday appointed three retired judges to probe allegations of match-fixing in the local league and Mohun Bagan today expressed displeasure over the appointment of two of them.

The club’s general secretary said that Manoranjan Mallik and Abani Mohan Sinha are not reliable enough as they had ruled in favour of a former club official who was the prime accused in the allegedly fixed Rovers Cup match between Mohun Bagan and Churchill Brothers in 1997. Kalyanmoy Ganguly is the other retired judge on the panel.

Mohun Bagan, however, have not lodged a written complaint. The club is yet to find a replacement for defender Samuel Omollo who was yesterday released on disciplinary grounds.    


 
 
FREE KICK/LACK OF PLANNING THE ROOT CAUSE OF INDIA 
 
 
P. K. BANERJEE
 
Calcutta, Oct. 4: 
The one sparkle apart, the Indian scoresheet remained blank after the 2000 Olympic Odyssey. There was the odd bright effort, but there was no change in either attitude or net result.

Before departure, the bands did drum out an optimistic note, but it turned out to be the same old story of what could have been. It’s true the odd Indian clawed upwards in his or her event, but that was again due to individual effort with no significant contribution from the federation concerned. We once more failed to respect the stronger, higher, faster ideal in its true sense.

Hopes generally centred around the hockey team and our tennis duo, but the latter was based primarily on the players’ run of success last year. They could have been gold-medal contenders during their stunning campaign in 1999, but injuries and the split definitely reduced them to a lesser force.

The hockey campaign was certainly more organised but showed signs of unprofessionalism which is unpardonable at this level. Months of training abroad and exposure trips can’t manufacture medals if you keep dropping hints of vulnerability and justify it with adolescent performances. The Spanish coach perhaps ‘banked’ on this aspect and predicted the Indians won’t deliver when it comes to the crunch.

Pakistan blossomed amid turmoil in their domestic structure and though they missed out on a medal, they left a message that their game is as venomous as ever. Indians, despite being in more comfortable company, failed to display the professional attitude at a very crucial time and it will perhaps be very difficult to script a turnaround now.

Quite a few expected laurels from Pulella Gopichand, a known face among the top 20 in business these days, but the shuttler failed to put it across the big ones on a big stage, barring which one can’t hope to be a world-beater.

The most disgraceful representation came in track and field, and it is no more a secret now that Indians do need ‘external forces’ to qualify for the stage featuring the best in business. There is perhaps no need anymore to spend hours pondering over why we don’t perform to ‘potential’ when it matters most because the very base of ‘potential’ needs to be investigated now.

Administrators need to take a fair share of the fault and it has to be made clear that everybody is answerable. Players and coaches are often penalised for performing below expectations, but officials here are seldom pulled up for being irresponsible and producing no results.

The abysmal gap between administrators and events they swing their swords over, is nothing new but it has to be noted that these very people have become more cunning and articulate in what they are best at: keeping the true picture from being projected.

The hockey team was in reckoning for a semi-final berth till their last group match, Anjali Ved Pathak came eighth in shooting, Gurcharan Singh went close to a medal and Malleswari succeeded in getting one but that does not reflect the disorganised state of matters over here. Most of this happened because certain individuals were good at their work and overcame obstacles they have to contend with at home.

In a nutshell, it was another passive participation in the biggest of parties. And, we failed yet again on account of planning. Or, rather, the lack of it.    


 
 
CALCUTTA RACES/ALVARADA CRUISES TO VICTORY 
 
 
BY STAR RACER
 
Calcutta, Oct. 4: 
As expected, the Razeen-Enfin Seule filly, Alvarada returned an easy winner of today’s star-event, the 2,000m Calcutta Derby Trial Stakes. Going to the start as a 3-10 hot-favourite, jockey Cristopher Alford made no mistake on the Vijay Singh-trained ward who is owned by Deepak Khaitan.

Keeping Alvarada a handy second behind the leader Ashbury, the owner-mate of the winner, Cristopher had precisely little to do in the race. Alvarada came abreast of Ashbury nearing the distance-post and went past easily to record a two and half-a-length victory. No Regrets, the conqueror of Ashbury in previous start, finished a faraway third.

The afternoon also witnessed three other hot-favourites — Crest Star, Starry Flag and Aloritz — justifying their odds. Among those heavily backed but failed to deliver were Daniel David’s trainee Endless Surprise and Richard Alford’s ward Ardon.

RESULTS

1. Prawn Curry Handicap 2,000m: (3-5-2-1) Crest Star (Yasin) 1; Ballard Lady (Gowli) 2; Hot (A. P. Singh) 3; Classic Knight (Amil) 4. Won by: 1/2; 4-1/2; 1-1/4; (2-16.4). Tote: Win Rs 17; Place: 11; 24; Quinella: 34; Tanala: 169. Fav: Crest Star (3). Winner trained by A. Goenka.
2. Almanac Cup 1,200m: (1-7-3-4) Scarlet Raider (Rutherford) 1; Friendly Knight (M. Reuben) 2; Endless Surprise (C. Alford) 3; Global Harmony (Som S.) 4. Won by: NK; 3-1/4; 3; (1-19.9). Tote: Win Rs 54; Place: 16; 17; 12; Quinella: 215; Tanala: 869. Fav: Endless Surprise (3). Winner trained by R. Alford.
3. Tokaido Express Cup 1,200m: (1-4-3-2) Starry Flag (Rabani) 1; Treasurer (C. Alford) 2; Mystic Hill (Amil) 3; Falconhead (Ravinder) 4. Won by: 4-1/4; 1-1/2; 8; (1-17.5). Tote: Win Rs 19; Place: 13; 14; Quinella: 17; Tanala: 38. Fav: Starry Flag (1). Winner trained by Bharath S.
4. Calcutta Derby Trial Stakes 2,000m: (5-2-4-3) Alvarada (C. Alford) 1; Ashbury (Ravinder) 2; No Regrets (Manohar) 3; Magnifico (Connorton) 4. Won by: 2-1/2; Dist; 7; (2-10.8). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 12; 20; Quinella: 26; Tanala: 49. Fav: Alvarada (5). Winner trained by Vijay S.
5. Gurkirpal Cup 1,400m: (6-1-2-5) Aloritz (C. Alford) 1; Kansai (Rabani) 2; Amarante (Amil) 3; High Life (Islam) 4. Not run: Acadameus (7). Won by: Dist; 2; Hd; (1-29.7). Tote: Win Rs 14; Place: 13; 26; Quinella: 40; Tanala: 339. Fav: Aloritz (6). Winner trained by Vijay S.
6. Aureole Time Handicap 1,100m: (4-1-7-2) Analyzer (Ravinder) 1; Sky Command (Manohar) 2; Constantine (Yacoob) 3; Ardon (Gowli) 4. Won by: 3/4; 2; 2-3/4; (1-11.7). Tote: Win Rs 60; Place: 17; 18; 37; Quinella: 143; Tanala: 2,059. Fav: Ardon (2). Winner trained by D. David.

Jackpot: Rs 1,727; (C) Rs 87.

Treble: (i) Rs 271; (ii) Rs 119.    

 
 
TRACK TRIALS 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, Oct. 4: 
Allaying and Adventure were impressive from among the following horses who were seen exercising today:

Outer sand track

800m: Allaying (C. Alford) and Aracruz (Rabani) in 58s; (400m) 28 2/5s. Former was a distance better. Adventure (C. Alford) in 57s; (400m) 27s. Easy. Consul’s Secret (Rb) in 57s; (400m) 27s.

Sand track

800m: Giltedge (K. Gurang) in 59s; (400m) 28s. Fibonacci (Rb) in 59s; (400m) 25s. Easy.    

 
 
MYSORE RACES/SO ROYAL MAY BE HARD TO DOWN 
 
 
FROM WILLIAM TELL
 
Mysore, Oct. 4: 
Maintaining good form after his Governor’s Cup sprint triumph recently in Hyderabad, the Darius Byramji-trained ward So Royal looks good to lift the 1,200m F. K. Irani Memorial Gold Cup, which is a terms event and the main attraction in tomorrow’s eight-event well-filled race-card. K. P. Appu partners the Tiajuana-Nauti Miner four-year-old.

SELECTIONS

1.45 pm: Expensive Search 1. Questionable 2. My Goodness 3.
2.15 pm: Jersey Lightning 1. Letham Grange 2. Beauchamp King 3.
2.45 pm: Donna Mia 1. Along All 2. Burning Bright 3.
3.15 pm: Chevalier 1. Arduous 2. Kingston Heath 3.
3.45 pm: Big Booster 1. King’s Common 2. Astounding Bay 3.
4.15 pm: So Royal 1. Barrier Ridge 2. Joe The Pro 3.
4.45 pm: Bountiful Gesture 1. Soviet Song 2. Pretty Boy Floyd 3.
5.15 pm: His Heirness 1. Gordon’s Pet 2. Always Dancing 3.    
 

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