Chauhan set to keep job
37 teams in final stage
Hakeem hits out at SAI
Cash awards induce doping: AAAWB
India Foils in big victory
Rod Marsh to visit EZA tomorrow
Indians beaten
Ootacamund Racing/ Master Weaver may strike

Calcutta, May 15: 
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appears to have taken the first step towards appointing a full-time manager: Chetan Chauhan has again been offered the post.

Chauhan, a former India opener and national selector (besides having been a two-term BJP Lok Sabha member, that is), was manager during the last (home) series, against Australia.

Today, a senior BCCI functionary “asked” Chauhan whether he would be available for the tour of Zimbabwe, which begins later this month and will end on July 7.

“I said I’m available, for it’s a matter of pride to be associated with the Indian team... In any case, I believe continuity helps. I was comfortable with the boys and coach (John) Wright and I’m sure they were comfortable with me,” Chauhan told The Telegraph, when contacted in New Delhi.

Actually, Wright was more than just comfortable and went on record (after the Australia series) with his appreciation of Chauhan’s role. Captain Sourav Ganguly also had kind words.

In fact, moments after India won the Test series 2-1, Wright highlighted Chauhan’s “contribution” in the epic fightback at the Eden (second Test), one which made history possible at the Chepauk.

“The manager’s pep-talk on the third morning (when the follow-on was inevitable) proved hugely inspirational... Gave the boys confidence,” is what Wright said.

Specifically, Chauhan spoke of the stupendous 192-run partnership between Sunil Gavaskar and him, during the Lahore Test of the 1978-79 ‘Revival’ Series.

While Chauhan himself got 93, Gavaskar fell on 97. In arrears by 340, the Gavaskar-Chauhan association had helped India to a handsome 465 in the second innings.

It seemed a draw was ensured, but Majid Khan and Zaheer Abbas batted as they would in the slog overs of an ODI to help Pakistan post a scintillating eight-wicket win.

While India lost, they weren’t disgraced and that Gavaskar-Chauhan partnership is still talked about reverentially. At the Eden, of course, India forced a stunning 171-run defeat on Australia.

To return to the present, it’s only in the last series that the BCCI broke with recent tradition to appoint Chauhan as manager for a home series.

That was done for two reasons: To allow India’s (first) overseas coach to focus on matters cricket only and to keep a ‘check’ on the players themselves.

The present times, after all...

The appointment of a manager (at home) was done away with once the cricket manager/coach’s post was created full-time from the 1992-93 season.

Managers continued to be appointed for overseas trips but, more often than not, the appointments were ‘political’ in that the ruling group within the BCCI largely obliged camp-wallahs.

Now, the BCCI appears to be going the professional teams’ way. Australia, for instance, has had a full-time manager (Stephen Bernard) for some years.


Calcutta, May 15: 
Thirty seven teams, divided into nine groups, will take part in the final phase of the Pepsi Ambar Roy sub-junior cricket meet, which gets underway at Eden Gardens tomorrow.

After the completion of the round-robin league, the group champions will feature in the knockout stage. The semi-finals are on May 29 while the final comes off on May 31.

Bournvita CA are the defending champions.

Junior cricket

Devdan Bhadra’s five-wicket haul helped Bournvita CA beat Bally CC by six wickets in the all-Bengal Shyamaprasad Mukherjee junior meet organised by Aikya.

BRIEF SCORES: Bally CC 122 in 22 ovs (Ketan Gupta 56 n.o., Suprovat Biswas 23; Devdan Bhadra 5/21). Bournvita CA 123/4 in 20.3 (Arpan Hazra 33, Jishnu Dey 23). Bournvita CA won by 6 wkts.

CESC champions

CESC defeated Eastern Railway Accounts RC by one run in the final of the inter-office Bhutnath memorial knockout meet today.

BRIEF SCORES: CESC 160/6 (Avijit Ganguly 39, Sovan Chakraborty 36; N. Sur 3/29). Eastern Railway Accounts RC 159/6 (Sovan Mitra 27). CESC won by 1 run.

Age-group tennis

Fifth seed Puja Paul was upset by unseeded Moni Sewa 2-7 in the girls under-16 section of the Britannia junior age-group tennis meet today. Swati Chowdhury beat Naina Pachnanda 7-0 to set up a pre-quarter final clash with top seed Priyanka Parekh.

In the under-10 category, Alia Piperno and second seed Md Imran reached the quarter finals. Piperno overcame Nikunj Gupta 6-1 while Imran defeated Vaibhav Tibrewal 6-0.

OTHER RESULTS: GIRLS: U-16: Arpita Das bt Ankita Dokania 7-3; Kanupriya Kajeria bt Aditi Bhowmick 7-1; Sikha Shaw bt Suchismita Ghosh 7-4.

BOYS: U-16: Arka Prova Rakshit bt Kushal Jain 8-7 (7-5), Murshed Alam Khan bt Sudarshan Kajeria 8-1. U-14: Avigyan Mitra bt Md Ismail 8-6; Md Imran bt Anoorag Biswas 8-2; Bibaswan Deb bt Sourav Chowdhury 8-0; Shrey Deb bt Sudarshan Kajeria 8-4.

Calcutta Police win

Calcutta Police scraped past BSF North Bengal 3-2, via tie-breaker to reach the sem-finals of the Laxmibilas Cup hockey meet today.    

Calcutta, May 15: 
S.S. Hakeem, former referee and ex-director of SAI, Eastern Centre, feels that the institution of the SAI has suffered a rather bad fall from grace.

Talking to The Telegraph over telephone from New Delhi this evening, Hakeem said he was sad at the state of affairs in this region. He was reacting to the story in these columns on May 10, which revealed that undisbursed amounts were mounting.

He said that during his tenure (which came to an end rather acrimoniously) he had “tried to make the entire region active.”

“I had tried to bring in numbers,” he said. “It is only from quantity that one can afford to get quality. There has been too much talk about the SAI’s Centres of Excellence. I believe that apart from one Bhaichung Bhutia, these projects have been able to yield zilch.

“These projects spend, on an average, as much as Rs 5,000 per child (with all expenses taken into account), and look at the outcome. Now they have introduced pay-and-play schemes. Tell me, how is it possible for kids involved in disciplines like athletics and the like to pay?” he said.

“The only sports that pay are cricket, tennis, and possibly badminton. The rest cannot, but there is so much potential out there that we are missing the wood for the trees. And then there is this huge expenditure on staff of the SAI.

“I am sure more money is spent by the SAI on its staff than on the actual development of sports.”

Hakeem also hit out at former Union sports minister Mukul Wasnik. “He is the person primarily responsible for the downfall of SAI East, through his favouritism and the like. He was also responsible for the prestige of an institution like the SAI to reach such a nadir.”

Signing off, he said it was “necessary to bring in technical people, people with the right knowledge.” He did not also hide his ill-feelings for the existing director, now on leave because of a cataract operation, Soumen Chowdhury.


Calcutta, May 15: 
The Amateur Athletics Association, West Bengal (AAAWB) has decided to do away with cash awards for medal winning athletes during the 51st state championships, which get underway at the Salt Lake Stadium and SAI complex Thursday.

At a press conference today, AAAWB secretary Rathin Banerjee informed that the decision has been taken keeping in mind the steep cost involved in conducting doping tests.

“It has been noticed from past experience that the lure of money often prompts athletes to adopt unfair means. Since the cost of conducting dope tests is high, we have decided to do away with any cash awards,” informed Banerjee.

He, however, hastened to add that the athletes will be compensated with other means.

Top athletes of the state — namely, Soma Biswas, Sanjoy Rai, Manisha Mondal, K. Jebeswari Devi, Manisha Dey, L. Aruna Devi, Debi Bose and Arup Chatterjee — will be seen in action at the championships.

The participation of Saraswati Dey is, however, uncertain.

The four-day meet, organised by AAAWB, will attract around 900 athletes from 35 teams.


Calcutta, May 15: 
India Foils walloped TIL Ltd 12-0 in The Telegraph Merchants’ Cup five-a-side meet at the CC&FC today.


Selvel B bt Accel ICIM Systems & Services 2-1; Bharat Raut drew TCT Technical Training India Pvt Ltd 1-1; Transways bt Smithkline Beecham 2-0; Usha Martin Telecom bt Tata Steel B 3-2; Taj Bengal bt Apeejay group 4-0; Carrit Moran bt Transworld 4-0; India Foils bt TIL 12-0; McNally Bharat bt Xerox Modi 2-1; Jet Airways bt ABN Amro 2-1; ITC bt McCann-Erickson 1-0; HDFC Bank drew Web Development Co. Pvt Ltd 0-0.    

Calcutta, May 15: 
Head of the Australian Cricket Academy, Rodney Marsh, will visit the city-based BCCI East Zone Academy Thursday.

The former Australian wicketkeeper will arrive tomorrow evening and spend time with the Academy pupils and coaches Arun Lal, Barun Burman, Jimut Mohanty and Randhir Singh. He is scheduled to leave Thursday evening.


Calcutta, May 15: 
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi lost 6-7 (4), 2-6 to wild cards Nicolas Lapentti (Ecuador) and Nicklas Kiefer (Germany) in the first round of the $ 2.9 million Hamburg Masters yesterday. According to information received here, the Indians got a break in the eighth game of the opening set but failed to hold serve in the next before losing the set.    

Ootacamund, May 15: 
A failed-favourite in his previous start Master Weaver is expected to make amends in the Kangeyam Plate at the Ootacamund (Udhagamandalam) races on Wednesday. S. Amjad Khan partners the Robert Foley-trained five-year-old gelding.


11 am: Master Weaver 1. Stately Girl 2. Barrier Ridge 3.
11.30 am: Musical Light 1. Endless Image 2. Octogonal 3.
12 noon: Simply Unique 1. Sanctified Star 2. Beauchamp King 3.
12.30 pm: Arctic Charmer 1. Stato King 2. Steamer 3.
1 pm: Common Spirit 1. Fair Winter 2. Transom 3.
1.30 pm: Amazing Crown 1. Own Ordain 2. Orbital Star 3.
2 pm: Bourbon Boy 1. Society Column 2. Celtic Venture 3.
2.30 pm: Thread Of Gold 1. King’s Harmony 2. Snow Top 3.

Day’s Best: Amazing Crown

Double: Common Spirit & Bourbon Boy

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