Sachin perfect role model, says Dexter
Ashok Kumar champion
Six-wkt victory for Customs
Devang, Deep available
Calcutta Racing/ Lockers Park likely to surprise
Mumbai Racing/ Queenscliff wins ‘Salver’

 
 
SACHIN PERFECT ROLE MODEL, SAYS DEXTER 
 
 
BY LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Calcutta, Dec.25: 
A dashing cricketer. Aviator. Penchant for fast cars. A keen golfer. Occasional politician… It’s with good reason that former England captain Edward ‘Ted’ Dexter invited a host of labels — all, of course, complimentary.

The Ascot-based Dexter (honoured with a CBE on New Year’s Day) is now president of the MCC and is in the city for a couple of days before leaving for Mumbai.

Dexter’s wife Susan was born in Calcutta and till she went to boarding school in England, studied at Miss Martin George’s. Her cricketer-father, Tom Longfield, was with Andrew Yule till the mid-50s.

Incidentally, married back in 1959, the Dexters remain a terrific couple.

Dexter, who arrived from Bangalore last night, spoke to The Telegraph this morning. He requested that “controversies” be kept away and that he wasn’t around to make “big pronouncements.”

Following are excerpts

On being actively associated with cricket

That I’m president of the MCC and chairman of its Cricket Committee ensures I stay closely involved… As you know, we are responsible for the laws of the game and interact closely with the ICC’s Cricket Committee.

On the changes cricket has seen since he quit in the late 60s

When I played, teams had a varied attack and we bowled our overs quickly. Then came the West Indies-era (mid-Seventies till the late Eighties) when the over-rate dropped and, with it, the scoring. Then, I did despair for the game… Miraculously, the Nineties saw the emergence of Shane Warne, Saqlain Mushtaq, Anil Kumble and Muthiah Muralidharan — a development which has brought variety back. Indeed, the over-rate has got better as well. Ninety overs each day is a poor ration, but is surely an improvement.

On whether the one-day game has affected the quality of cricket

Let me answer it this way: Quite a few players don’t get the grounding (in first-class cricket) which is essential… The fact that we have a Sachin Tendulkar and a Brian Lara suggests the sport hasn’t been affected. Present-day cricket is competitive, which is how it should be.

On his ‘Gentleman Ted’ image

(Smiles) I played as an amateur… It’s only at the end of my career that I got some payment… Actually, it’s when I first went to Australia (1957-58) that a journalist described me as “the man from Cambridge with an Oxford accent” and addressed me as “Lord Ted”. The label stuck… I didn’t mind at all, thought that quite suited me!

On whether the gentleman image, associated with cricket, has taken a big beating

Look, the odd incident and the odd player will remain… At the same time, look at Sachin… He’s the perfect role model.

On English cricket having generally improved in the last couple of years

An up-and-down situation will always be there… I recall, for instance, we had some excellent performances in the period I was chairman of selectors (1989-94)… Had big series wins, made the World Cup final (1992)… Then, there was a decline. Now, things have again begun to look up.

On captain Nasser Hussain’s contribution

Dispassionately, Hussain was very green to start with but, tactically, has improved. I also recognise he gets on well with the boys and has a good understanding with the coach (Duncan Fletcher)… He’s doing fine.

On Indian cricket

Clearly, the Indians are absolute masters at home but don’t seem successful tourists. The low bounce of the wickets, in India, could be a factor for not doing well overseas. Then, I’m not sure just how close the team is while on tours. It’s important for a side to actually ‘stick’ together.

On the top batsmen of his era

Gary Sobers — the most complete cricketer, not only a top batsman… Graeme Pollock… His body-position, the balance… You couldn’t find fault. Then, he hit so hard… I rate Peter May, my first captain, very highly as well... (Adds after a pause) Had ‘Tiger’ Pataudi not lost an eye in that car accident, I’m sure he would have finished as an all-time great. In India, Tiger would have been in the same bracket as Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin.

[In 62 Tests, Dexter himself totalled 4,502 runs at a superb average of 47.89. He hit nine centuries.]

On the top batsmen of the present times

Sachin, Lara, Steve Waugh… In my book, Sachin is the smaller version of Viv Richards… Lara has such a wonderful backlift… Can smash any ball, I repeat any ball, for four… Steve, well, is like a pro boxer and won’t let his guard down. When he punches, it’s power-packed.

On what makes a quality batsman

Waiting for the ball, as they say, is an essential quality. Most get too anxious and begin looking for it… Besides what is obvious, patience is important.

On his understanding of a balanced team

(Smiles again) It’s great if a captain gets it right… In my opinion, India played one spinner too many in Bangalore. If I may add, England have the habit of fielding four quicks. When I was captain, I learnt if the ball will seam, three quicks are good enough. If it won’t, then a fourth definitely isn’t required.

On whether the ICC is working on the right lines

It’s not an easy job… A new vision has been mapped and I do think cricket is in safe hands.

On whether today’s cricketers are too money-minded

That is what is said. What is also said is that they are more professional. Most, however, may be professional about how they make money — they aren’t so professional on the field…

Finally, on his Bengal connection

As is well-documented, my father-in-law (who passed away in 1981) was captain when the state won the Ranji Trophy in 1938-39… Susan spent her first eight years on Camac Street… Returning here is always emotional… The present Indian captain (Sourav Ganguly) is from Bengal and I do wish him well.

   

 
 
ASHOK KUMAR CHAMPION 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Dec. 25: 
Ashok Kumar emerged champion in the matchplay event of the Goodricke East India amateur golf championship after an exciting 36-hole final duel with Keshav Mishra at the RCGC today.

The first round on the final day, played over 18 holes, saw Mishra birdying the short second hole, which put him one up. Kumar bogeyed the par-four third to be two down.

Mishra bogeyed the fifth, which curtailed his lead, but made it two up again with a birdie on the eighth. However, he lost the lead with one up at the 12th and finished the first 18 at one-under. Kumar was on par over the first 18.

Kumar started the second half well, with a birdie on the 19th, and Mishra conceded the next to go one down. Mishra fired a birdie on the fourth to catch up again but Kumar won the next two to open up a lead of two.

Kumar went three up after Mishra bogeyed the 27th. Kumar didn’t look back after this and sealed the title with a birdie on the 29th.

It was a good ‘double’ for Kumar, who had won the strokeplay event earlier. Only three players in the past — Ashok Malik, Rajiv Mohta and Allan Singh — had achieved the ‘double’.

   

 
 
SIX-WKT VICTORY FOR CUSTOMS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Dec. 25: 
Calcutta Customs beat Tollygunge Agragami by six wickets in a high-scoring match of the CAB senior division knockout tournament today.

Chasing Tollygunge’s 315 for seven in 45 overs, Customs reached the target with Prasenjit Ganguly hitting 100.

In other matches, George Telegraph, Netaji Subhas Institute and Suburban registered wins.

SUMMARISED SCORES

Tollygunge Agragami 315/7 (Rakesh Joshi 118, Abakash Khatua 80, Dipankar Majumdar 3/42). Customs 316/4 (Prasenjit Ganguly 100, Sougata Mitra 64 n.o., Amit Sharma 60, Manish Jalan 2/35). Customs won by 6 wkts.

George Telegraph 243/9 (Avishek Guha 102, Ram Kripal Shaw 3/48). Calcutta Rangers 195/9 (Rajib Dutta 49 n.o., Khagen Patra 3/22, Prasenjit Pramanik 2/43, Subhayu Seal 2/33). George Telegraph won by 48 runs.

Netaji Subhas Institute 240/8 (Jayanta Das Chowdhury 42, Aranya Deb Sarkar 67, Nayan Sur 47 n.o., Abdul Munayem 4/54, P. Mondal 2/37). Eastern Railway 154 (Rathindra Nath Dutta 3/31, Aranya Deb Sarkar 3/7). Netaji Subhas Institute won by 86 runs.

Belgachia United 203 (Arpan Hazra 50, Samit Ghosh 5/49). Suburban 204/7 (Saikat Sett 62, Ramesh Biswas 43, P. Singh 2/33). Suburban won by 3 wkts.

Cricket for the sightless

Gaurav Goenka will lead Bengal in the East Zone cricket championship for the blind to be held in Ranchi from January 7 to 11.

THE SQUAD: Gaurav Goenka, Pradip Jha, Amol Sardar, Chandan Maity, Gopal Murmu, Rabi Das, Amirish Mitra, Chandan Verma, Laxmi Narayan Adhikari, R. Dolai, Santosh Sahani, Tapas Maity, Abhijit Mondal, Madan Jana, Vikash Mondal.

   

 
 
DEVANG, DEEP AVAILABLE 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Dec. 25: 
Devang Gandhi and Deep Dasgupta are available for Bengal’s next Ranji Trophy tie against Bihar to be played in Jamshedpur from Saturday.

Devang, who led Bengal last season, missed the first two matches this year against Assam and Tripura owing to an injury. Deep, of course, was unavailable as he was on national duty.

CAB joint secretary Bablu Kolay today said Deep has informed the selectors that he would play the Bihar match. Devang, meanwhile, has submitted a fitness certificate to the CAB.

Sourav Ganguly, however, is unlikely to play the Bihar game. He is expected to play the match against Orissa to be played in Cuttack from January 5.

Bengal have made a good start in Ranji Trophy this season — with victories over Assam and Tripura.

Orissa have also notched up two victories in two matches and the battle for supremacy in East Zone is very much restricted to the two — Orissa and Bengal.

   

 
 
CALCUTTA RACING/ LOCKERS PARK LIKELY TO SURPRISE 
 
 
BY STAR RACER
 
Calcutta, Dec. 25: 
Whatever Alcalde’s improvement, the Bharath Singh-trainee may find her yard-mate Lockers Park, and the Darius Byramji-trainee Soviet Song to be difficult customers to down in tomorrow’s feature event, the 1,400m Army Cup.If Soviet Song is a good sprinter, Lockers Park boasts of finishing behind Bold Chieftan who went on to beat The Archer and some of the top rated horses of the centre. The Archer had trounced Alcalde earlier in the season.

Read as: Horse number, last four runs, horse name, trainer, jockey, weight & draw:

1st Race at 1.10 p.m.

Harvest Star Handicap 1,100m (Cl IV—Rated 22-50) — Indian jockeys only
1 030 Declarationoflove [R.Alford] Rutherford 60.5 2
2 000 Sadaf [Bharath] Md Islam 60.5 4
3 444 Rheinheart [Bath] G. Singh 56.5 1
4 432 Lively Project [Daniel] A. P. Singh 56.0 6
5 - - 0 Sencai [Javed] R. Gowli 55.0 7
6 - - - Dictate [Mujeeb] Gajender S. 54.0 5
7 300 Red Cordon [Daniel] R. Ahmed 53.0 3

1. Declarationoflove (1) 2. Sadaf (2) 3. Lively Project (4)

Declarationoflove: Ran a forward race in a stiff company. May reveal his Mumbai class. Sadaf: Ignore his last run. May do better..Lively Project: Upset, if any.

2nd Race at 1.50 p.m.

Predator Cup 1,100m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) — Indian jockeys only
1 000 Bay Dragon [Daniel] D. Locke 60.5 7
2 -- - 0 Aklovic [Darius] Harish 60.0 6
3 -- - 0 Scenic Song [Mujeeb] N. Bird 58.0 5
4 000 Floral Path [Bath] Surender S. 57.5 4
5 202 Lovely Duchess [R. Alford] Rutherford A 56.0 3
6 --- Appyness [Mujeeb] Md Amil 55.5 2
7 --- Castle Moon [Karki] P. Kujur 50.5 1
8 040 Aureate [P. locke] Md Islam 48.5 8

1. Lovely Duchess (5) 2. Bay Dragon (1) 3. Castle Moon (7)

Lovely Duchess: Came flying when race was all but over. May win against the present lot. Bay Dragon: Capable of outsprinting all. Castle Moon: May place.

3rd Race at 2.20 p.m.

General A S Vaidya Memorial Cup 2,000m (Cl III; Cl IV eligible Rt. 22-72)
1 -000 Own Legacy [Daniel] A. P. Singh 60.0 3
2 440 Among Men [Javed] R. Gowli 59.5 6
3 301 Set Aside [Asfand] Rutherford A. 59.0 4
4 - -1 Abroach [Vijay] C. Alford 55.5 2
5 240 Solo Act [R. Alford] S. Tamang 53.5 5
6 000 Crowned Prince [Daniel] Md. Yasin 48.5 1

1. Set Aside (3) 2. Abroach (4) 3. Among Men (2)

Set Aside: Better placed at the weights against youngsters. Abroach: Will grab the opportunity if Set Aside fails. Among Men: May place.

4th Race at 2.55 p.m.

Ute Handicap 1,400m (Cl IV—Rt. 22-50)
1 300 Santillana [Daniel] N. Connorton 60.5 6
2 -141 Bul Bul [Javed] N. Engineer 60.0 7
3 000 Beau Bruno [Stephens] K. Kumar 57.5 10
4 023 Tequila Shot [Bath] S. Shanker 57.0 2
5 230 Iron Warrior [Rodrigues] A. P. Singh 55.0 9
6 011 Royal Ruler [R. Alford] Brij S. 55.0 3
7 300 Alborada [Daniel] B. Gurang 54.5 1
8 304 Black Mane [Karki] P. Kujur 51.5 5
9 020 Just Kidding [R. Alford] Harish 49.5 8
10 440 Scavenger’s Son [Mujeeb] C. Alford 48.0 4

1. Black Mane (8) 2. Just Kidding (9) 3. Bul Bul (2)

Black Mane: Ideally placed at the weights, looking well, too. Just Kidding: He is in with a chance, though a difficult customer .Bul Bul: Upset, if any.

5th Race at 3.25 p.m.

Army Cup 1,400m (Cl I—Rt. 88 & over)
1 321 Beneficent [Daniel] G. Upadhya 60.0 8
2 410 Soviet Song [Darius] Harish 59.0 1
3 000 Amusing [Daniel] C. Connorton 56.0 7
4 - - 0 Secret Blessing’s [Daniel] Asghar 55.5 3
5 120 Lockers Park [Bharath] S. Rabani 52.0 5
6 - - 0 Earl Grey [Darashah] K. Appu 51.5 4
7 004 Reine Beau [Daniel] P. Kujur 51.0 2
8 121 Alcalde [Bharath] C. Alford 49.5 6

1. Lockers Park (5) 2. Soviet Song (2) 3. Alcalde (8)

Lockers Park: Placed behind Bold Chieftan recently. May do well. Soviet Song: May find the ‘seven’ a wee bit long. Alcalde: May place

6th Race at 4.00 p.m.

Destiny Boy Handicap 1,400m (Cl III—Rt. 44-72) — Indian jockeys only
1 400 Illustrious Reign [Jaiswal] Dalpat S. 61.0 2
2 002 Scarlet Raider [Daniel] Asghar 59.5 9
3 - - 2 Silver Toy [Asfand] R. Gowli 58.5 8
4 000 Immaculate [Daniel] R. Ahmed 58.0 7
5 400 Grand Lodge [Javed] G. Upadhya 56.5 10
6 033 Actress Vijay] C. Alford 56.0 5
7 000 Gallant Romeo [Daniel] B. Guramg 56.0 1
8 000 Fairy Prince [Daniel] I. Siddiqui 54.0 11
9 - 00 Charlene [Bharath] S. Rabani 52.0 4
10 -000 Excellent Striker [Daniel] Md Yasin 50.5 6
11 000 Mida Touch [Daniel] P. Kujur 50.0 12
12 - - 0 Asprey [Asfand] Harish 49.0 3

1. Silver Toy (3) 2. Actress (6) 3. Charlene (9)

Silver Toy: Her last run indicates she has returned to form. May take the opposition in her strides. Actress: Has more letdowns than wins to her credit. Charlene: May upset.

Day’s Best: Lovely Duchess

Double: Set Aside & Lockers Park
   

 
 
MUMBAI RACING/ QUEENSCLIFF WINS ‘SALVER’ 
 
 
BY HONKY DORY
 
Mumbai, Dec. 25: 
Queenscliff won the HSBC Salver in Mumbai on Tuesday.

RESULTS

(With inter-state dividends)

1. Prince Royal Plate 2,400m: (2-4-5) Sanquirico (Shroff) 1; Avantage 2; Aide De Memoire 3. Won by: 6; 1-3/4; (2-35.1). Tote: Win Rs 14; Place: 10; 16; Quinella: 16; Tanala: 39. Fav: Sanquirico (2).

2. Cheerful Gift Plate, Div-II 1,000m: (3-2-9) Handsome Lad (T. Jodha) 1; Pique 2; Sunchyme 3. Won by: 3-3/4; 3/4; (1-2.6). Tote: Win Rs 112; Place: 21; 10; 39; Quinella: 42; Tanala: 8,646. Fav: Pique (2).

3. Cheerful Gift Plate, Div-I 1,000m: (2-7-6) Star Cutter (Rajendra) 1; Irresistible You 2; Jayashree 3. Won by: 3-1/4; 1-1/4; (1-2.3). Tote: Win Rs 17; Place: 12; 193; 23; Quinella: 760; Tanala: 4,411. Fav: Star Cutter(2).

4. Symbol of Love Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (7-5-10) Recognition (Berry) 1; Habit 2; C’est Egal 3. Won by: Nk; 2-1/4; (1-28.5). Tote: Win Rs 338; Place: 63; 26; 63; Quinella: 1,518; Tanala: 17,355. Fav: Crisscross (1).

5. Christmas Trophy 1,100m: (2-10-8) Rosmini (McCullagh) 1; River Rainbow 2; Fairy Goddess 3. Won by: 6-1/2; 9; (1-6.8). Tote: Win Rs 14; Place: 12; 15; 55; Quinella: 22; Tanala: 266. Fav: Rosmini (2).

6. HSBC Salver 1,400m: (17-4-6) Queenscliff (Kamlesh) 1; Strength To Strength 2; Daring Don 3. Not run: Zephyr Bay (5). Won by: 1; 2-3/4; (1-24.3). Tote: Win Rs 39; Place: 18; 52; 42; Quinella: 281; Tanala: 6,789. Fav: Pleasures (8).

7. First Born Plate 1,600m: (9-3-1) Adam’s Delight (Belose) 1; Wine N’ Song 2; Bon Apetit 3. Won by: 1-1/2; 2-1/4; (1-40.7). Tote: Win Rs 377; Place: 78; 86; 38; Quinella: 2,638; Tanala: 59,103. Fav: Weathering (10).

8. Symbol of Love Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (6-1-8) Soi Dissant (Lemaire) 1; Secret Force 2; Tactful 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 3/4; (1-28.1). Tote: Win Rs 79; Place: 28; 32; 37; Quinella: 505; Tanala: 9,627. Fav: Rewarding King (2).

9. One I Love Plate 1,600m: (4-3-10) Piece of Art (Belose) 1; Winning Melody 2; Rodeo Romeo 3. Won by: 2-1/4; 1-1/2; (1-42.1). Tote: Win Rs 83; Place: 29; 29; 35; Quinella: 306; Tanala: 7,292. Fav: Smooth Operator(2).

Jackpot: Rs 1,81,251; (C) Rs 6,797.

Treble: (i) Rs 677; (ii) Rs 1,988; (iii) Rs 19,975.
   
 

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