Madhavan set to summon Lele
Status of Cup not clear to Fifa
Our best is yet to come, says Chile captain
Confident Jordan land in city
Prahlad Srinath topples Dmitri Tomashevic
Gangjee’s team excels
Milan Samity deny Bagan victory
Track Trials/ Artwork, So Royal impressive
Calcutta Racing/ 7 for Wednesday’s main event
Mumbai Racing/ ‘Strength’ wins

Calcutta, Jan. 18: 
The Board’s anti-corruption commissioner, K. Madhavan, has not closed the Kapil Dev and Ajit Wadekar files.

According to a well-placed source of The Telegraph, the duo’s lengthy deposition in New Delhi, not many days ago, left a few questions unanswered.

“Madhavan feels there are some grey areas specific to Wadekar, specially where that infamous Kanpur match (versus the West Indies, 1994) is concerned,” remarked a source.

Wadekar was the national team’s cricket manager when Manoj Prabhakar and Nayan Mongia batted as if they were saving a Test instead of attempting to win that one-dayer.

The source added: “Also, it seems, not everything has been cleared on the Kapil front (the Ahmedabad Test against New Zealand, 1999)... Both files, therefore, won’t be closed right away.”

Kapil, of course, was the India coach then.

Having thus far concentrated on players and team officials (former physio Ali Irani being one exception), Madhavan, significantly, is now set to focus on some administrators.

One understands Board secretary Jaywant Lele and Vidarbha Cricket Association president G.K. Kelkar, who was the Board observer in Ahmedabad, will “soon” be summoned by the commissioner.

“Lele was in Ahmedabad during the closing stages of that Test (when India didn’t enforce the follow-on despite a 275-run lead) and, so, will be questioned. As for Kelkar, he was the Board’s man-on-the-spot,” the source explained.

The source, though, couldn’t confirm whether Madhavan will also summon the then captain, Sachin Tendulkar, or any other player.

For the record, Sachin has consistently maintained the decision to bat a second time was taken collectively. As he put it: “It was a team decision.”

Still, there have been repeated calls for a thorough probe, more so as bookies had “prior information” of the admittedly perplexing Indian move.

This surfaced during the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into match-fixing and figures in the agency’s report.

Meanwhile, the Board’s disciplinary committee, which met in Chennai today, cleared Nikhil Chopra of any wrong-doing.

This was on the cards as neither the CBI nor Madhavan could link the off-spinner to match-fixing.

Former Board president Inderjit Singh Bindra, too, appeared before A.C. Muthiah, Ram Prasad and Narhari Amin (Kamal Morarka’s replacement, following an objection by Bindra), but no verdict was announced.

A Board functionary pointed out that when administrators are hauled up, the disciplinary committee is to place its “findings” before the working committee and not itself take action.

And, so, the Bindra affair (which really is precedent-setting) will be deliberated in New Delhi on Monday.

It appears Bindra (and the blacklisted Punjab Cricket Association) put up a spirited defence, placing the disciplinary committee in an “awkward” position.

A majority of the Board members, however, want Bindra — who fell out with the ruling group after completing his three-year term as president — to be disciplined with a capital D.


Calcutta, Jan. 18: 
There seems to be no end to confusion clouding the Sahara Cup. Latest on the list of those totally befuddled —after the spectators, players and match officials — is Fifa itself!

The unusual gathering of teams — some at near full strength, some well below — has put the world body in a fix. “Hardly ever before has the status situation been more unclear than for this tournament,” observed an official from Fifa’s Information Services department.

Fifa is yet to decide whether it will award ranking points for matches of this tournament. “As yet, no matches have been evaluated for the Fifa world ranking,” informed the official, after being contacted by The Telegraph.

dHe didn’t elaborate, but not granting ranking points may just be caused by the fact that most of the nations have not sent their senior national squads.

“We have not been able so far to determine the status of all teams taking part in the tournament,” informed the official.

“Romania, Uzbekistan, Indonesia (who, later were barred for bringing foreign nationals), Uruguay, and probably Yugoslavia are not fielding their senior national teams unlike Bosnia, Chile and the remaining Asian teams,” was all he had to say in this regard.

The AIFF, as usual, has little knowledge about it. “Such matches are called international friendlies and teams do get ranking points for these. Also, goals scored are added to the players’ career figures and matches played added to their records,” said AIFF president Priya Ranjan Das Munshi today.

AIFF vice-president, Asoke Ghosh, who is also chairman of the Calcutta chapter of the Sahara Cup, doesn’t differ. “As per my knowledge, matches of this tournament are official internationals. I don’t know why teams should not get ranking points,” he said.

The teams’ Fifa rankings is no indication of the quality of players taking part here as most of the highly-ranked teams are with their second-string players.

Though Fifa is yet to strip the tournament of “official” status, it has decided that all matches will not be treated as official international ones.

“All matches involving teams who are not the senior national teams of their countries will not be registered as official ‘A’ matches,” said the Fifa official.


Calcutta, Jan. 18: 
There may have been only glimpses of South American touch in Chile’s football in the Sahara Cup, but captain Marcelo Ramirez thinks their best is yet to come. Citing lack of practice as the reason behind their none-too-flamboyant show, the goalkeeper said things should improve after playing three matches and Sunday’s quarter final against Iceland should not be a problem, if they apply themselves.

“We were not very good in the first two games and improved somewhat in yesterday’s match against Uzbekistan. Maybe, we played upto 50 per cent, 60 at times, of what we are capable of,” noted the 34-year-old, Chile’s second goalkeeper in the 1998 World Cup.

“We have to concentrate properly and play our normal game. Things will automatically fall in place once we do that,” said medio-cum-defender Moises Villarroel, the other World Cupper in the side. He rated yesterday’s tie as their best so far, while picking Japan as the most impressive team in the group.

Expecting Iceland to produce the typically European physical and long-passing game at high speed, the World Cuppers said it’s not new to them. “The coach has had a talk with the players and we’ve realised that playing our normal game, without being overtly worried by the rivals, will do the job,” said Ramirez.

Chile, who topped group IV with wins over Japan, Bahrain and Uzbekistan, decided against practising at the SAI ground today and did some light work-out on the hotel lawn.


Calcutta, Jan. 18: 
Determined to go the distance, a youthful Jordan team trouped into the city today for Sunday’s Sahara Cup quarter-final clash against Japan.

Having beaten both Romania and Hong Kong in group III matches in Goa, Jordan’s Argentine coach Ricardo Carugati said putting it across the Europeans came as no surprise.

“We have beaten Iraq and drew against China in the recent past. So, this Romanian selection was not intimidating,” said the Argentine, who took charge eight months back.

Jordan’s recent track record is impressive and includes a victory over Iraq in the Pan-Arab Cup final in 1999. They had won that title in 1997 as well. In the 1999 final, they were leading 4-0 before eventually winning on penalties.

Mansour Qardan, the head of the delegation, said they are using this tournament to fine-tune the team for April’s pre-World Cup matches. They are in group 7 with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Taiwan.

The team, including seven players from champion club Fasaly and six from the secon-placed Al-Wehdat, underwent a two-week camp before coming here.

Before reaching India, they played a friendly against Qatar in Doha and lost 1-3.


Calcutta, Jan. 18: 
There’s no stopping Prahlad Srinath.

The unseeded Indian, on a roll this week at South Club, tossed out second seed Dmitri Tomashevic to enter the semi-finals of the $10,000 ITF Futures meet.

Srinath took a little over an hour to humiliate the Uzbek 6-4, 6-0. Next up for the unseeded Indian is sixth seed Jaroslav Levinsky of Czech Republic — a 6-3, 6-0 winner over Luke Milligan today.

Srinath (No. 629), ranked 260 spots lower than Tomashevic, traded a couple of breaks before capturing the Uzbek’s serve again to bag the first set.

The second set saw a much-organised Srinath going for the kill. If Srinath was stuck to a baseline game in the first set, he charged the net more often in the second. The Mysore man served five aces including two to finish off the match.

The other semi-final will pit seventh seed Juraj Hasko against No. 3 Martin Spottl.

In doubles action, top seeds Syed Fazauddin and Tomashevic booked a semi-final berth following a 6-3, 7-5 win over Indonesians Hendri Susilo Pramono and Suwandi Suwandi.

RESULTS (all quarter finals)

Singles: Juraj Hasko (7, Svk) bt Fred Hemmes (Hol) 6-2, 6-1; Martin Spottl (3, Aut) bt Rik de Voest (RSA) 6/3, 6/4; Jaroslav Levinsky (6, Cze) bt Luke Milligan (GBR) 6-3, 6-0; Prahlad Srinath (Ind) bt Dmitri Tomashevic (2, Uzb) 6-4, 6-0.

Doubles: Syed Fazaluddin (Ind) & Dmitri Tomashevic (Uzb) bt Hendri Susilo Pramono & Suwandi Suwandi (Ina) 6-3, 7-5.


Calcutta, Jan. 18: 
A first-day card of even-par 216 put the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) B team in strong contention for the title in the two-day 21st PSCB inter-unit golf championship at the RCGC today.

The GAIL trio of Rahil Gangjee, Ashok Kumar and Parnita Grewal returned identical scores of level-par 72. Each team includes five players and the three best scores are taken into account.

Defending champions Oil India Limited (OIL) were placed second, with their three best cards tallying nine-over 225. Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) were third with a tally of 14-over 230.

Bharat Petroleum’s Dinesh Sharma returned the best nett individual score of 82. M.S Bisht of ONGC was second with 84.

Pro-Am meet

The Business Today-American Express Pro-Am meet will be held at the Classic Golf Resort in Gurgaon over the weekend. About 16 top professionals and 96 corporate chiefs will take part.

Rupesh in final

Top seed Rupesh Roy reached the boys’ under-16 final in the Runglee Rungliot junior tennis meet with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Chandan Shaolin of Manipur. Nirvick Mohinta was leading 5-4 against Arup Mullick when the match was stopped for bad light.


BOYS: U-14 semi-final: Arup Mullick bt Ranjan Prasad 6-4, 6-3.

GIRLS: U-16 semis: Karina Ahuja bt Shivika Burman 6-4, 6-3.

BOYS/GIRLS U-10 semis: Ranveer Srivatsav bt Ayush Bajoria 8-0; Mohamed Imran bt Iftekar Hussain 8-7.

State chess

Laltu Chatterjee and Anirban Guha Roy were leading with five points each after Round V of the 36th state chess championship at Khudiram Anushilan Kendra.

Roktim Bandopadhyay, Debabrata Das, Subhrajit Saha and Dyutimoy Mukherjee were second with 4.5 points each.

In the fourth round today, Chatterjee beat Ayan Lahiri (4) and Guha Roy toppled Ajay Haldar (4).

Merchants’ Cup squash

McLeods beat B Square 2-1 and J. Thomas blanked INDAL 2-0 in the 47th Merchants’ Cup squash tournament semi-finals at Calcutta Racket Club.    

Calcutta, Jan. 18: 
Tapan Memorial’s Rajib Dutta took six for 34 to help his team thrash YMCA (College Street) by 253 runs, while Manoharpukur Milan Samity batsmen denied fancied Mohun Bagan a win in the CAB senior league today.


Mohun Bagan 377/7. Manoharpukur Milan Samity 297/4 (Sanjay Das 67 n.o., Arghya Maitra 62). Match drawn.

Salkia Friends Association 214. Measures Club 216/5 (Sashanka Gupta 104; Pradip Saha 3/58). Measures Club won by 5 wkts.

Wari AC 299. Sporting Union 217/9 (Satrajit Lahiri 312, Peasanta Singha Roy 30; K.S. Rajpal 3/53, Suman Chakraborty 3/25). Match drawn.

Tapan Memorial 388/3. YMCA (College St) 135 (Rajib Dutta 6/34, Jadge Paul 2/12). Tapan won by 253 runs.

Suburban Club 337/9. BNR Recreation Club 245/5 (Sumantra Chatterjee 100 n.o., Ashesh De 67; Sandip Ganguly 2/46). Match drawn.

Taltala Institute 217. Rajasthan 221/6 (Amit Jaiswal 50, Nilashis Ghosh 43, Soumya Dey 47; Jayanta Mukherjee 5/95). Rajasthan won by 4 wkts.

Rangers Club 284. Eastren Railways (285/5 (Diptendu Mahata 65, Asif Murtaza 62 n.o., Kanchan Maity 53 n.o.). E. Rly won by 5 wkts.

Excelsiors 163. Barisha 165/2 (overnight 161/2). Barisha won by 8 wkts.

Sourav felicitated

Press Club, Calcutta, today felicitated Indian captain Sourav Ganguly as part of its prize distribution ceremony of the annual sports meet. The club president presented Sourav with a silver plaque. Speaking on the occasion, Sourav said he was “deeply touched” by the honour.

Later, the India captain handed over prizes to the successful scribes of the sports meet. Ashok Bhattacharya, municipal affairs minister, was also present on the occasion.

CCCC win

Calcutta CCC beat Murshidabad District Sports Development Association (MDSDA) by four runs in the CAB junior cricket meet (115 points) final at Eden Gardens today.

BRIEF SCORES: CCCC 184/6 in 40 ovs (Samudranil Sarkar 63 n.o., Bhairav Guha 24, Soumen Roy 21; Samse Alam 2/20, Soham Ghosh 2/45). MDSDA 176 in 39.2 ovs (Subhrojyoti Bhaduri 58, Soumya Gupta 56; Kunal Biswas 4/23, Soyman Roy 3/5, Subhankar Chatterjee 2/8). CCCC won by 4 runs.

Baninder to lead

Baninder Singh of St. Xavier’s School will lead a 14-member squad in the all India inter-cityPepsi youth cricket meet in Chennai.

SQUAD: Baninder Singh (capt), Neelabha Chatterjee, Bikram Banerjee, Anirban Mallick (wk), Rahul Roy, Kanishka Banerjee (all from St. Xavier’s); Kunal Biswas, Avik Dutta, Soumik Roy, Masidur Rahman (all from Ballygunge Govt. HS), Sandipan Halder (Hindu School), Sayatya Mallick (Don Bosco Park Circus), Sarbo Sen Gupta (St. James), Sujoy Dutta (New Alipur Multipurpose School). Coach-cum-manager: Biswajit Bhowmick.


Calcutta, Jan. 18: 
Artwork, Aloritz, So Royal and Soviet Song were impressive in today’s work outs.

Outer sand track

1,400m: Illustrious Reign (Upadhya) in 1-42s; (400m) 30s. Fit. Alumina (C. Alford) in 1-40s; (400m) 28s. Urged. Calculus (Gowli) in 1-45; (400m) 30s. Fit. Aloritz (C. Alford) and Fame Star (Amil) in 1-38; (400m) 26s. Former better.

1,200m: Special Sovereign (A. P. Singh) and Freedom Warrior (Rb) in 1-33s; (400m) 30s. Former better.

800m: Tequila Shot (G. Singh) and Reactor (Shanker) in 56s; (400m) 29s. Fromer was a length better. Alastar (C. Alford) and Arco Europa (Surender) in 57s; (400m) 30s. Former 4 ls better. Bountiful Gesture (Amil) and Amarante (C. Alford) in 53s; (400m) 28s. Former far better. The Archer (Connorton) in 53s; (400m) 27s. Moved well. So Royal (Khalander) in 51s; (400m) 27s. Good. Supreme Desire (Saran) in 56s; (400m) 38s. Easy. Artwork (Khalander) in 51s; (400m) 27s. Hard held. Flinders (Khalander) in 55s; (400m) 28s. Pushed. Soviet Song (Khalander) in 52s; (400m) 27s. Note.

Sand track

1,400m: Smokey Bear (Brij) in 1-36s; (400m) 30. Eased up in last part.Best In Show (Gowli) in 1-32s; (400m) 25s. Pushed. Blessed Spirit (Rb) in 1-47s; (400m) 29s.

1,200m: Splendid Star (Gowli) in 1-25s; (400m) 26s. Easy. Gambino (Rb) in 1-26s; (400m) 28s. Easy. Highland Flame (Brij) in 1-23s; (400m) 28s. Fit.

1,000m: Mr. Bombshell (Gowli) and Sadaf (A. Imran) in 1-7s; (400m) 25s. Both were level.

800m: Stately Don (Brij) in 51s; (400m) 24s. Fit. Sovereign Bullet (Upadhya) in 53s; (400m) 25s. Fit. Analyzer (Saran) and Abstract (Rb) in 50s; (400m) 24s. Former far better. Iron Warrior (Rb) 52s; (400m) 26s. Easy. Angels Venture (Upadhya) in 55s; (400m) 26s. Easy. Bird’s Empire (Gowli) in 50s; (400m) 24s. Note. Regency Times (A. Imran) and Crimson King (Som S.) 52s; (400m) 25. Former 2 ls better.

600m: Added Asset (A. Imran) 36s; (400m) 24s. Very fit.    

Calcutta, Jan. 18: 
There are seven sprinters in the running for the 1,200m HSBC Cup, a Grade III race in tomorrow’s seven-event race card. First race starts at 12. 30 pm.


1. Ramkirpal Plate 1,200m (Terms, 3-y-o only) 12.30 pm: Automatic 58.5; Aventura 55; Aherlow 53.5; Andrada 53.5; Victoria Rose 53.5.

2. Nautical Pride Handicap1,200m (Cl IV; 22-50) 1 pm: Splendid Star 60.5; Tajik 60.5; Constantine 59; Storm Centre 59; Bird’s Empire 57.5; Queen’s Logic 55.5; All Jade 53; Russian Czar 53; Stella Blue 52.5; Floral Path 51.5; Alfolra 50.5; Rule With Honour 50.

3. Azhar Cup 1,600m (Cl IV, Cl V eligible, 00-28) 1.40 pm: Black Mane 61; Gentle Priest 60; Cool Quest 58; Red Trident 57; Master Bold 53; Persuasion 53; Scavenger’s Son 53; The Stud 52.5; American 51; Ballard Lady 51; Supreme Desire 51; Global Harmony 50.5.

4. King’s Counsel Handicap1,400m (Cl V; 00-28, 5-y-o & and over) 2.15 pm: Avionic 60.5; Heaven’s Blessing 60; Blessed Spirit 58; Consul’s Secret 57; Crest Star 54; Go With The Wind 54; Armed Alarm 53; Nearco Prince 53; Double Cross 52.5; Armila 51.5; Magic Ring 51.5; Arizona Star 47.

5. Pearson Surita Memorial Cup 1,200m (Cl II; 66-94) 2.50 pm: No Surrender 60; Quickdraw McGraw 56; Addab 55; Best In Show 53.5; Gold Buck 53; Kansai 53; Solo Act 53; Annalee 50; Serenader 48..

6. HSBC Cup 1,200m (Terms, 4-y-o and over) 3.25 pm: Artwork 61; So Royal 61; Starry Flag 56; Joe The Pro 53; Annella 48; Soviet Song 48; Bountiful Gesture 46.

7. Right Ahead Handicap 1,100m (Cl III, 5-y-o and over, 44-72) 4.15 pm: Amarante 60; Sharp Sensation 58.5; Added Asset 58; Crimson King 57; Analyzer 56; Pure Energy 54; Starina 54; Mr. Bombshell 53.5; Sovereign Bullet 52.5; Staffordshire 52.5; Citadel 52; Storm Trooper 52; Abstract 51.5.

Jackpot: 3; 4; 5; 6 & 7.

Treble: (i) 2; 3 & 4; (ii) 5; 6 & 7.

Mumbai, Jan. 18: 
The Rehnullah Khan-trained Strength To Strength claimed the Astonish Trophy at the Mumbai races on Thursday. F. Lynch partnered the six-year-old horse by Farajullah out of Powerglide.


(With inter state dividends)
1. Rajya Ratna M. C. Patel Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (8-7-10) Anjolie (Bhati) 1; Universal Star 2; Golden Sparrow 3. Won by: 3; 3-1/4; (1-30). Tote: Win Rs 90; Place: 29; 13; 80; Quinella: 85; Tanala: 12,906. Fav: Universal Star (7).

2. Fragrant Memories Plate 1,200m: (2-5-3) The Pelican (McCullagh) 1; Destiny Calling 2; Wordsworth 3. Won by: 6; 9-1/2; (1-14.7). Tote: Win Rs 30; Place: 11; 10; 68; Quinella: 18; Tanala: 944. Fav: Destiny Calling (5).

3. P. A. D’Avoine Stakes 1,400m: (6-2-9) Victory March (Rajendra) 1; Consortium 2; Champagne Gold 3. Won by: 7-1/2; 1-3/4; (1-27.4). Tote: Win Rs 19; Place: 12; 18; 15; Quinella: 45; Tanala: 147. Fav: Victory March (6).

4. Cartier Plate 1,400m: (3-9-6) Cristina (Kamlesh) 1; Cryptonite 2; Winning Girl 3. Won by: 2-3/4; 2; (1-27.9). Tote: Win Rs 119; Place: 30; 15; 12; Quinella: 208; Tanala: 1,965. Fav: Cryptonite (9).

5. Astonish Trophy 1,200m: (8-12-1) Strength To Strength (Lynch) 1; Table Dancing 2; Amusing 3. Not run: Razalin (11). Won by: 2-1/4; 2-1/2; (1-13.5). Tote: Win Rs 30; Place: 16; 47; 44; Quinella: 236; Tanala: 5,429. Fav: Strength To Strength (8).

6. Clarinet Plate 1,200m: (11-12-2) Flirtatious (Bhati) 1; Soliel 2; Knight Royale 3. Won by: 4; 1-1/4; (1-16.3). Tote: Win Rs 155; Place: 30; 30; 21; Quinella: 468; Tanala: 12,808. Fav: Golden Star (7).

7. Rajya Ratna M. C. Patel Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (4-1-8) Razana (Rajendra) 1; As A Rule 2; Silver Nova 3. Won by: 2; 8-1/2; (1-29.9). Tote: Win Rs 39; Place: 17; 16; 66; Quinella: 71; Tanala: 2,658. Fav: Double Up (10).

8. Rapparee Plate 1,000m: (8-4-2) Laktara (Gallagher) Adam’s Legend 2; Different Crown 3. Not run: Boundless Thrill (14). Won by: Nk; 1-1/4; (1-2.7). Tote: Win Rs 72; Place: 21; 31; 17; Quinella: 504; Tanala: 2,111. Fav: Fiercely Loyal (5).

Jackpot: Rs 1,14,534 (Carried over); (C) Rs 14,726.

Treble: (i) Rs 919; (ii) Rs 3,552.

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