‘My wife and I wish to lead normal life’
Cautious Indians struggle to 221/8
Sunil whips Vinod in final
Good beginning by Bengal
Calcutta Racing/ Seven fillies for Sunday Classic
Bangalore Racing / Snow Dew tipped

 
 
‘MY WIFE AND I WISH TO LEAD NORMAL LIFE’ 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Centurion, Nov. 23: 
Former South African captain Hansie Cronje, whose efforts to stay involved with cricket have been frustrated, has (as of now) no plans for the future.

Responding (by e-mail) to a request for an interview from The Telegraph, Cronje stated: “Now that I am no longer involved with cricket, I feel it would be improper of me to do any more interviews or answer questions. My wife (Bertha) and I are keen to continue with our lives normally and I’m sure you will respect that.

“My apologies for not being able to assist you... I’m currently doing my masters in Business Leadership and will finish next year. As yet, I have no plans for the future.” Cronje signed off with “Best wishes.”

According to sources close to Cronje, banned for life because of match-fixing, he is “reconciled” to a life outside cricket — which includes not being able to either coach or be a TV commentator — for the next couple of years. In time to come, though, he is “very keen” to wear a coach’s hat.

As a source put it: “Hansie has, finally, realised he must stay away for some years. That he should only look to getting involved with cricket once emotions no longer run high... Yes, he still has a following, but a majority of South Africans haven’t forgiven him. They will, in time. We remain confident of that.”

Cronje, who used to stay in Bloemfontein, has shifted to George (near Cape Town) where his wife is a physiotherapist. Apparently, Cronje is himself “dabbling” in some real estate.

Another source revealed that even though Cronje didn’t win in court, he was “relieved” by last month’s verdict. “I did speak to him just days after that and, really, he sounded relieved... That he could now forget about the charges, solicitors, courts and so on. That, indeed, it was time to look ahead and not bank on an Establishment which wasn’t going to forgive...”

Significantly, many of the South African cricketers continue to interact with their one-time captain, somebody for whom they had the utmost respect. Allan Donald, Jonty Rhodes and even Herschelle Gibbs are among those who either themselves occasionally call Cronje or promptly return his calls.

Cronje-backers never, for instance, fail to remind you that he got hanged for confessing while the likes of Shane Warne and Mark Waugh weren’t even taken to court. It’s a valid point, yes.

   

 
 
CAUTIOUS INDIANS STRUGGLE TO 221/8 
 
 
FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
 
Centurion, Nov. 23: 

Sourav Ganguly pulls out with pain down right side, may require hospitalisation

Having hosted ‘rebel’ tours in the Eighties, South Africans aren’t unfamiliar at staging matches without official sanction. Yet, the ‘Test’ which got underway today, remains special.

For one, even the visiting captain — Sourav Ganguly — didn’t take the field. Not because the International Cricket Council (ICC) had withdrawn recognition, but Sourav “woke up” with pain on the right side, neck downwards. He was, almost immediately, given cortisone and vitamin injections, besides relaxants to ease the “muscle spasms”- inflicted discomfort.

Late tonight, Sourav was still in pain and no improvement by the morning could see him hospitalised for tests. “I don’t know why, but the right hand and fingers are swollen. The right toes, too... Physiotherapy has started and recovery is expected to take four-five days. If there’s no improvement tomorrow, I’ll probably be hospitalised,” he told The Telegraph, when contacted at the team hotel in Johannesburg.

With the only reserve batsman, Connor Williams, in any case set to play, Sourav’s pullout helped Anil Kumble remain in the XI. Influenced purely by the circumstances, India fielded five specialist bowlers.

The opening day (after being inserted by Shaun Pollock), though, was far from satisfactory. At stumps, India were 221 for eight with Kumble’s courageous and technically correct stay of 27 (167 minutes, 129 balls, 3x4) ending on the last delivery, from a fired-up Mornantau Hayward.

Kumble, who featured in the innings’ most productive partnership — 51 for the sixth wicket with Deep Dasgupta — had batted exceedingly well in the first innings at Port Elizabeth, too. And, this afternoon, his handling of the second new ball (taken at 202 for seven, 82nd over) was a lesson for some mates.

Venkatesh Prasad, not out this evening, will probably resume the innings with No.11 Ashish Nehra. After all, till late tonight, it wasn’t clear whether Jawagal Srinath will bat. Srinath, hit twice by Hayward in the region of the left little finger, retired after the second ‘strike’.

Expectedly, Srinath was taken for an X-ray which, apparently, wasn’t conclusive. The in-form Indian spearhead, it may be recalled, was hit in the same area by Dilhara Fernando during the Galle Test in mid-August. Diagnosed as a fracture, that injury ended Srinath’s Sri Lanka tour.

To return to the game at SuperSport Park, it came as no surprise when Pollock asked India to bat on a wicket which, traditionally, has much carry. Caution was the theme of the openers’ approach and the first hour saw only 15 runs.

Debutant Williams fell soon after — leg-before to Lance Klusener (introduced unusually early) — failing to capitalise on a let-off off the same bowler. Not having faced a single delivery in any competitive match on tour, the ask for Williams was high. It will be unfair to judge him on the strength of one innings alone.

Williams did start in compact fashion, though.

Stand-in captain Rahul Dravid was next to go, distinctly unlucky to be adjudged leg-before (off Makhaya Ntini) by Dave Orchard. Shiv Sundar Das, anchoring one end, departed next for 46. After 163 minutes and 132 balls (9x4), he square drove straight to Herschelle Gibbs.

Sachin Tendulkar, who hasn’t made an impression after that brilliant century in innings No.1 of the first Test (Bloemfontein), did have gem-like boundaries but didn’t go beyond 27. He was caught down the leg-side by Mark Boucher, becoming Jacques Kallis’ first victim.

Kallis quickly struck again, sending back V.V.S. Laxman, and it was left to Deep and Kumble to prevent further damage till tea (137 for five). The first session had produced 44 runs, with Williams being the lone man out.

Deep’s fine innings of 36, packed with a string of boundaries, ended when he unsuccessfully fended a short one from Hayward. He was around for 95 minutes and 73 deliveries. Deep’s exit introduced Harbhajan Singh and, once again, a cameo (29 from 32 balls) was scripted. Only, yet again, he got run out too.

Meanwhile, with the ICC de-recognising the game, South Africa ‘blooded’ exciting local star Jacques Rudolph. He replaced Boeta Dippenaar.

   

 
 
SUNIL WHIPS VINOD IN FINAL 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Nov. 23: 
Sunil Kumar won the city leg of the Tata Futures (U-18) meet at DKS today.

The top seed beat No. 2 and old rival Vinod Kumar Sewa 6-2, 6-2 in a one-sided final which lasted less than an hour. The title fetched Sunil Rs 5001, Vinod got Rs 4001.

The country’s top two juniors qualified from the zone for the Masters to be held in Chennai next month.

In the doubles final, Vinod and C.S. Mohanty beat Manoj Kumar Sewa and Dhrub Kumar 6-2, 6-2.

Floodlit meet

About 750 players are likely to take part in 15 events of the Saturday Club floodlit tennis meet beginning tomorrow. The men’s singles final will be played on December 15. The meet offers a total of Rs 52,000 in prize-money.

   

 
 
GOOD BEGINNING BY BENGAL 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Nov. 23: 
Bengal reached 85 for two after bowling out Bihar for 194 on the opening day of the Vijay Merchant Trophy tie at Asansol today. Leg-spinner Manoj Tewari was the most successful bowler with five for 72. Sougata Dutta (33) and Anirban Gupta (22) were at the crease at stumps.

BRIEF SCORES: Bihar 184 (M. Tewari 5/72) Bengal 85/2 (S. Dutta 33). Match to continue.

   

 
 
CALCUTTA RACING/ SEVEN FILLIES FOR SUNDAY CLASSIC 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, Nov. 23: 
There are 7 fillies in the Sunday’s Calcutta 1,000 Guineas field. First race starts at 12.40 pm.

ACCEPTANCES

1. Goldfinder Handicap 1,100m (Cl IV, 5-y-o & over Rt. 22-50) 12.40 pm: Abashed 60; Storm Centre 56; Common Spirit 55; Crest Star 53.5.

2. Law Win Handicap 1,100m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) 1.10 pm: Heaven’s Blessing 60; Rare Orchid 56.5; Blessed Spirit 53.5; Aureate 51; Piece of Cake 47.5; Rich Dominion 47.5.

3. Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy 1,100m (Terms, 2-y-o only) 1.50 pm: Moon Mission 57; Moon Quest 55; Musician 55; Pehlvan 55; Phunney Phellow late Crescendo 55; Sea Royale 55; Anatolia 53.5; Callisto 53.5; Romantic Notes 53.5; Social Girl late Golden Fawn 53.5; Star Selection 53.5.

4. Beat The Distance Handicap 1,400m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) 2.20 pm: Grecian Prince 60; Impressive Prince 58; Reactor 58; Pneumatic Power 56.5; Touch of Elegance 56.5; Aberdan 55.5; Calculus 48.

5. Calcutta 1000 Guineas 1,600m (Terms, 3-y-o fillies only) 2.50 pm: Ancheta 54.5; Angeles 54.5; Arristo 54.5; Blue Gardenia 54.5; Calorescence 54.5; Si Senora 54.5; Touch of Silver 54.5.

6. Mayfowl Cup 1,400m (Terms 4-y-o & over) 3.25 pm: Alternator 63; Fame Star 60.5; Alyssum 56.5; Soviet Song 54; Allodium 50.5; Anolini 50.5; Bold Chieftan 49.5; Earl Grey 49.5; Lockers Park 49.5; Amusing 48.5; Annatto 48.5; Thunder Struck 48.5.

7. Cheviot Handicap 1,100m (Cl III, 5-y-o & over Rt. 44-72) 4 pm: Winning Glory 60; Crimson King 59; Winning Hand 57.5; Kargil Soldier 57; Best In Show 56.5; Carbon Copy 56; Simply Monarch 54; Charlene 52.5; Starina 52.5; Ace of Spades 52; Super Smile 52; Mr. Bombshell 51.

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

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

.    

 
 
BANGALORE RACING / SNOW DEW TIPPED 
 
 
FROM WILLIAM TELL
 
Bangalore, Nov. 23: 
Snow Dew may be hard to beat in Bangalore 1000 Guineas tomorrow.

SELECTIONS

2.30 pm: Star Chivalry 1. Generation Next 2. Braid Hills 3.

3 pm: Telegram 1. Good Win 2. Suhasini 3.

3.30 pm: Taipan 1. If Looks Could Kill 2. Star Pegasus 3.

4 pm: Snow Dew 1. Affability 2. Battle Star 3.

4.30 pm: Barroness Orczy 1. Old Meldrum 2. Fugleman 3.

5 pm: Sinatra 1. Caape City 2. Agnivarsh 3.

Day’s Best: Snow Dew Double: Taipan & Barroness Orczy

FRIDAY’S BANGALORE RESULTS

(With inter-state dividends)

1. Kalasa Plate 1,400m: (8-5-10) Afaza (Rajesh) 1; Solar Power 2; Rusticana 3. Won by: 4-1/4; 2-1/4; (1-32.2). Tote: Win Rs 136; Place: 40; 25; 48; Quinella: 397; Tanala: 11,849. Fav: Dark Felt (9).

2. Poottannah Memorial Plate 1,400m: (1-7-2) Millennium Flame (Srinath) 1; Saturn Star 2; Indian Rocket 3. Won by: 2-1/4; SH; (1-29.9). Tote: Win Rs 115; Place: 32; 20; 15; Quinella: 381; Tanala: 1,779. Fav: Indian Rocket (2).

3. Shimoga Cup 1,200m: (5-7-4) Shara (Appu) 1; National Tiger 2; Special Request 3. Won by: 3-1/2; 1-3/4; (1-17.5). Tote: Win Rs 57; Place: 19; 58; 20; Quinella: 641; Tanala: 4,196. Fav: Count My Stride (1).

4. Madras Race Club Cup 1,400m: (4-6-1) Royal Liberator (Norton) 1; Noble Opinion 2; Hello Brother 3. Won by: 7-1/4; 2; (1-28.8). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place 10; 18; Quinella: 18; Tanala: 43. Fav: Royal Liberator (4).

5. B. T. Kesava Iyengar Memorial Plate 1,800m: (5-3-4) Star Splendour (Prakash) 1; Dream Supreme 2; Aide De Memoire 3. Won by: 5; 6-1/2; (1-56.4). Tote: Win Rs 36; Place: 19; 26; Quinella: 192; Tanala: 1,232. Fav: Sacristia (2).

6. Dupont Plate 1,600m: (4-1-5) Caressing (Shroff) 1; Kyosoba 2; Rising Wings 3. Won by: 7; 4-1/4; (1-44.2). Tote: Win Rs 32; Place: 14; 16; 18; Quinella: 63; Tanala: 362. Fav: Caressing (4).

Jackpot: Rs 9,813; (C) Rs 2,007.

Treble: (i) Rs 9,091; (ii) Rs 219.

   
 

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