We must attack, be bold: Vengsarkar
Punjab Police annex crown
Pargat instilled professionalism
5 from Bengal among trainees
New sports channel launched
ICC job for ex-CBI sleuth
Vijay Kumar ousted
Calcutta Racing/ Jackpot unsolved on last day
Calcutta Racing/ Winter season toppers

Calcutta, April 4: 
Having toured the West Indies thrice — the third time, in 1988-89, as captain — Dilip Vengsarkar knows more than a thing or two about what needs to be done in the Caribbean.

In any case, whatever Vengsarkar says carries the impressive weight of 116 Test appearances (6,868 runs with 17 hundreds and 35 fifties, 42-plus average).

For starters, with the first Test of the latest India-West Indies series exactly a week away, Vengsarkar is convinced Sourav Ganguly must field five specialist bowlers.

“I doubt if the traditionally rather placid Guyana wicket has changed dramatically. It effectively means we stand a good chance of taking an early lead in the (five-Test) series. For that, though, we will need 20 wickets and I favour playing five bowlers,” Vengsarkar told The Telegraph.

Briefly in the city for a National Cricket Academy-related trip, Vengsarkar added: “I would field Jawagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and the two spinners (Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh)… I agree it’s our best chance to win an overseas series after years but, then, we’ve got to be bold and must attack.”

In much the same breath, however, Vengsarkar made the point about playing the specialist wicketkeeper — Ajay Ratra. “The bowlers must be backed, behind the stumps, by the safest pair of hands…”

Speaking generally, Vengsarkar felt that the West Indies’ home advantage-driven confidence must be quickly dented.

“Talking from experience, the West Indies’ performance reflects its level of confidence. If we strike early, Carl Hooper’s side will look different. If we don’t, there’s this risk of the West Indies getting stronger and stronger… Frankly, I doubt if any team plays more awfully when low on confidence.”

Vengsarkar, of course, agreed this wasn’t the first tour when the Indians have looked supremely formidable — on paper, at least.

“That’s a point, yes, though we are ahead man-to-man… I expect John Wright to come into the picture in a big way… In recent times, for instance, our batsmen have looked very tense… I don’t know why, but the coach must sort this out. Being unusually tense doesn’t help.

“Obviously, the wickets have got much slower and the Michael Holdings and Malcolm Marshalls aren’t around… Still, we shouldn’t be lacking in spunk and our mental toughness will have to be at a high level.”

[While it’s now fashionable to use heavy bats, Vengsarkar preferred the light ones, specially in the West Indies. “Helped in the two most productive shots there — cut and the slash…”]

In Vengsarkar’s opinion, the Indians shouldn’t just target Brian Lara.

“We’ve got to get ten wickets in each innings, not merely to claim Lara early. Little purpose will be served if he does go quickly, but the others still force a handsome total…”

However, as Vengsarkar emphasised, getting wickets alone won’t do.

“Actually, the batsmen need to complement the bowlers and vice-versa. In the past, we’ve suffered either because the batsmen failed when the bowlers did a commendable job or the bowlers couldn’t get it right when the batsmen gave them a total. Both arms, so to say, must work purposefully at the same time. A team effort...”

What, then, will be his advice to Sourav — incidentally, his roommate for a week on that 1991-92 tour of Australia (Sourav’s first and Vengsarkar’s last)?

“ Simple: When on top, don’t let go… Allowing any team to claw back means inviting trouble. It can only get worse if the team in question is the West Indies,” was the prompt answer.

Vengsarkar, by the way, didn’t quite agree with Kapil Dev’s stunning observations — made recently in London — on the current Indian players’ commitment to win.

“Look, in the past five-six years, these boys have played so much that there has to be a downswing in their hunger… It’s inevitable. The scheduling should be such that the boys remain hungry…”

Sourav and the rest will gladly agree.


Calcutta, April 4: 
The favourites lived upto their billing in the Beighton Cup final at the Mohun Bagan ground today.

Punjab Police walloped CRPF 3-1 in a one-sided match. Sarabjit Singh, Gabbar Singh and captain Daljit Singh Dhillon were the scorers. S. K. Vashist reduced the margin for CRPF off a penalty corner in the last minute.

Punjab Police regained the trophy after a gap of five years.

Pargat Singh’s team went about their task in a calculated manner, bottling up Julian Topno, the mainstay of the CRPF forwardline, early on.

That put the brakes on their opponents and Punjab Police capitalised on it. Moreover, Pargat used Jugraj Singh and Kanwalpreet Singh, Man of the Final, effectively to block CRPF’s moves in the halfline.

CRPF, though, had started off in a whirlwind fashion, initiating a couple of forays into rival territory.

Both sides tried to pysche the other out with physical force early on. Tempers ran high and it forced the umpires to temporarily suspend both captains — Daljit Singh and Vashist — for failing to keep their players under control.

That soon brought about normalcy. A shot by T. Kujur was palmed away by the Punjab Police goalie in the nick of time. Off the counter-attack, Baljit Singh Buller’s pass found Sarabjit on top of the D and the latter struck with a superb flick (1-0).

CRPF missed out on a golden opportunity to equalise in the seventh minute of the second session. Kujur had an empty goal in front but missed the target.

Punjab Police’s second goal, which came in the 54th minute, drew protests from CRPF after the umpires had disallowed it initially, ruling that Gabbar had shot from outside the striking D. Buller’s pass found Gabbar in the clear.

Punjab Police’s third goal came via the solo effort of Daljit. The skipper did show superb ball control and stick work during the second session. He got hold of the ball near the centre line, dribbled past a couple of defenders. The advancing goalie got no chance to stop his powerful hit.


PUNJAB POLICE: Manpreet Singh, Kanwalpreet Singh, Jugraj Singh, Prabhdeep Singh, Balwant Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Avtar Singh, Jagbir Singh, Sarabjit Singh, Gabbar Singh, Gurmit Singh, Baljit Singh Buller, Bajljit Singh, Gurjit Singh, Tejbir Singh, Daljit Singh.

CRPF: X. Ravindro, Balkar Singh, Trilok Ram, B. Oran, Karan Raj Singh, Baljeet Singh, T Kujur, Mukesh Kumar, J Topno, Tanveer Javed, V Hanaan, Prabhat Saini, S. K. Vashist, Sudhir Bara, A Minz.

Umpires: V.B. Singh, H. S. Sokhi.


Calcutta, April 4: 
Pargat Singh has induced a new sense of professionalism and accountability into the Punjab Police side.

The soft spoken and introvert former India skipper has his own ways of functioning. Once he took over as coach a-year-and-a-half ago, the new outlook and work culture has paid dividends.

The frequent call-ups for the players to the national camp makes his job difficult at times, but he does have the ability to motivate youngsters to cash in on the stars’ absence. The selection is done by Pargat at the end of the season in June-July along with assistant coach and former international Manpreet Dhillon.

“Most of the time we have five/six players in the national camp. Hence we hardly get time to train together. But we always try to keep the boys on their toes and get the understanding going,” Pargat, who is an SP with Punjab Police, told The Telegraph.

It is the bonhomie that Pargat stresses on in developing the camaraderie among the players. That remains his secret to success. On the eve of the Beighton Cup final, he ensured everyone attended the team dinner at a friend’s place.

Today’s triumph is their third major success in an all India meet this season having already won the Police Games and another tournament in Punjab. In all, they have won three of the four meets they participated.

The players practised on the astroturf in Jalandhar’s Burton Park and they had to do with a 15-day stint on grass as a build-up to this meet.

Initial problems

“Initially we did face a lot of problems but we improved with every passing day. The stopping and driving from penalty corners were our main areas of concern,” captain Daljit Singh Dhillon said.

The element of having to play in grass even prompted Baljit Singh Dhillon to stay back, says a source.

But all this hardly proved a major obstacle in the end.

Three of the players are inspectors of Punjab Police while five hold the sub-inspectors rank. The rest are assistant sub inspectors.

More than a promotion in their workplace, it is the hunger to represent the country and do well at the international level that serves as adrenaline to the players.

That remains their ultimate motive and the stint with the police team is only a learning place for tougher battles ahead.

World Cupper Kanwalpreet Singh, who was adjudged Man of the Final, says it in as many words. “My aim is to win an Olympic gold for India,” he says, trying to hide his shame for the poor show in Kuala Lumpur.


Calcutta, April 4: 
Five cricketers from Bengal were among the 20 trainees for the East Zone Cricket Academy named today. The names were announced after Dilip Vengsarkar held a closed-door meeting with the under-19 selectors from the eastern states. Five standbyes have also been named.

Saurav Sarkar, Soujan Biswas and Subhojit Pal have played in under-19 teams before, but right-handed opening batsman Subhojit Banerjee and left-handed batsman Amit Biswas came into reckoning because of their performance in the CAB League.

The selected trainees will have to go through a medical test on April 14 — the six-week East Zone Academy camp will commence the day after.

The other zonal academies too begin their training the same day. Vengsarkar has already shortlisted the trainees for North and Central Zones. The South and West Zone teams are expected to be selected in a few days.

The inter-academy tournament will be held in mid-June, from where the final trainees for the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore will be chosen.


Saurav Sarkar (Bengal), Subhash Chakroborty (Tripura), Brignesh Mohanty (Orissa), Mohammed Sayeed (Bihar), Dhiraj Goswami (Assam), Tushar Saha (Tripura), Khanin Saikia (Assam), Soujan Biswas (Bengal), Rajesh Banik (Tripura), Sujit Roy (Bihar), Rakesh Mohanty (Orissa), K. Ishwar Rao (Bihar), Haladhar Das (Orissa), Subhojit Pal (Bengal), Debabrata Chowdhury (Tripura), Kaushik Guha (Sikkim), Subhojit Banerjee (Bengal), Amit Biswas (Bengal), Subit Biswal (Orissa), Sadiq Imran Chowdhury (Assam).

Stand byes: Atul Priyanka, Asish Ranjan, Anupam Dey, Arshad Iqbal, and Ved Prakash Hota.

England tour

Elite Cricket Club will organise a 16-member team’s tour to England in June to play against teams from different County leagues. Goutam Shome will accompany the side as technical director.


Calcutta, April 4: 
Taj Television Limited today announced the launch of a new sports channel — Ten Sports — built especially with the Indian audience in mind. An exclusive 24-hour channel, the brainchild of Abdul Rehman Bukhatir, it will be available in all countries of the sub-continent.

The channel kicks off its live telecast of cricket with the Sharjah Cup from April 8. Announcing this at a press conference today, CEO Chris McDonald said apart from live cricket, the channel would also feature other off-field cricket programmes.

Sub-junior tennis

Rupesh Roy of Bengal beat Anshuman Dutta of Assam 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 in a boys’ under-16 quarter final match of the Cosmo Open mini and sub-junior tennis championship at the Calcutta Cosmopolitan Club.

RESULTS (All quarter finals): Boys’ Under 14 — Karan Dhillon (Ben) bt Simanta Malakar (Asm) 6-2, 6-2; Akshay Bajoria (Ben) bt Arco Pravo Rakshit (Ben) 6-0, 3-6, 6-0; Biplab Das (Ben) w/o Suman Kumar Debnath (Asm); Kaushik Das (Asm) w/o Shrey Deb (Ben). Boys’ under-16 — Sabyasachi Bose (Ben) bt Kaushik Das 7-5, 6-2; Nirvick Mohinta (Ben) bt Dharamveer Biswakarma (Ben) 6-0, 6-4; Farid Alam bt Karan Dhillon (Ben) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3; Rupesh Roy (Ben) bt Anshuman Dutta (Asm) 6-4, 5-7, 6-1. Girls under-14 — Karina Ahuja (Ben) bt Treta Bhattacharya (Ben) 6-1, 6-0.

Squash coach

The Squash Rackets Federation of India has appointed Malaysian national coach Maj. S. Maniram as consultant coach for a period of three years. Maniram’s association with the federation begins in May.


Calcutta, April 4: 
The ICC has appointed 48-year-old N.S.Virk, a former CBI officer, as one of its five full-time regional security managers. Virk, who was associated with the CBI’s match-fixing probe, has been assigned to India and Sri Lanka.

According to information reaching The Telegraph late this evening, Pakistan’s Lt Col (retd) Nuruddin Khawaja is also one of the appointees. His brief covers Pakistan and Bangladesh. The remaining three are: Arrie de Beer (South Africa and Zimbabwe), John Rhodes (Australia and New Zealand) and Bob Smalley (England and the West Indies).

The idea behind the appointments, of course, is to “protect the game from the risk of corruption.”

The appointments are effective from June 1 and all five regional security managers will “attend” every series and tournament in their assigned region.

Incidentally, an “induction camp” has been planned in Sri Lanka, from June 10.


Calcutta, April 4: 
Arjun Singh knocked out fourth seed Vijay Kumar in a quarter final match of the Rs 10 lakh SRF all-India Matchplay championship at the Delhi Golf Club today, according to information reaching here.

Fifth-seed Arjun meets Amit Dube of Noida in the semi-final tomorrow. Dube defeated Suleman Ali on the 18th hole. In the second semi-final, seventh seed Shiv Prakash will clash with unseeded Dinesh Kumar of Delhi.

Ladies’ meet

The Gold Cup golf tournament will be held at the Ladies’ Golf Club course from tomorrow to Sunday. RCGC captain V.K. Singh, Lakshman Singh, Jaidip Mukerjea and S.C. Mahtab are among the 220 who have confirmed for this team event. The meet has also attracted Kehr Surgical from Kanpur as sponsors.


Calcutta, April 4: 
Curtain came down on the 27-day city winter racing season today. There was, however, no respite for punters on the day as lesser fancied horses continued their dominance. As a result of this the 70 percent of the jackpot pool amounting to a shade over Rs 2.4 lakh was carried forward.

The biggest damage was caused by the John Stephens trained Beau Bruno in the second leg of the pool. The in-form jockey Imran Chisty followed the trend with Cool Quest and Winning Glory in the two trophy events in the card — the Magnanimous Cup and the feature event, the Royal Double Cup, respectively.

It was, however, curtain call for Asfand Bugwadia, the trainer of Cool Quest. The young trainer informed The Telegraph that he was leaving for Mumbai to join the thoroughbred breeder A. K. S. Brar as his racing manager. Asfand, a former D. Byramji deputy, has been training in the city since last winter season with a moderate string of horses but without much luck.


Calcutta, April 4: 
Trainer Daniel David saddled 50 winners during the winter season that concluded today. The champion schooler, however, once again, failed to equal father Haskell’s record of 51 winners. Last season, Daniel had also scored a half-century of winners. The following are the top three winners in their respective fields:

Top three trainers: Daniel David (50 wins), Vijay Singh (31) and Bharath Singh (25).

Top three jockeys: Cristopher Alford (43), B. Prakash (25) and Rutherford Alford (11)

Top three apprentice jockeys: Rutherford Alford (11), Md Islam (4) and Gajender Singh (4).

Top three stake money winners: MAM Ramaswamy, Deepak Khaitan and Deepak Khaitan jointly with the Estate of late Maj. P. K. Mehra.

Top three tipsters (Tipsters Cup): Noon News of The Turf, Bartaman and The Telegraph. In Tipsters Tally: Bartaman, The Times of India and Horse Power.

Horse of the season: Touch of Silver


1. Stand Off Handicap 1,200m: (8-9-1-10) Royal Command (Merchant) 1; Mahika’s Pet (I. Chisty) 2; Anacott (C. Alford) 3; Software Classic (M. Reuben) 4. Won by: 2-1/4; Nk; 1-1/4; (1-15.8). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 12; 20; 24; Quinella: 47; Tanala: 188. Fav: Royal Command (8). Winner trained by Daniel D.

2. Largesse Handicap 1,100m: (9-4-10-7) Common Spirit (Merchant) 1; Queen’s Logic (C. Alford) 2; Leading Conquest (I. Chisty) 3; Wakamba Warrior (Gajender) 4. Won by: 1-3/4; 1-1/4; SH; (1-6.4). Tote: Win Rs 44; Place: 18; 27; 25; Quinella: 141; Tanala: 952. Fav: Wakamba Warrior (7). Winner trained by Daniel D.

3. Loch Clieveden Handicap 1,200m: (6-5-2-3) Beau Bruno (P. Alford) 1; Rheinheart (Shanker) 2; Tequila Shot (G. Singh) 3; Storm Centre (A. P. Singh) 4. Not run: Wandering Warrior (9). Won by: Nk; 1-1/4; 1-1/4; (1-14.5). Tote: Win Rs 217; Place: 40; 24; 62; Quinella: 509; Tanala: 1,05,198. Fav: Prince of Fashion (1). Winner trained by J. Stephens.

4. Magnanimous Cup 1,400m: (3-6-1-10) Cool Quest (I. Chisty) 1; Lucifer (Upadhya) 2; Raring To Go (Merchant) 3; Aiberni (C. Alford) 4. Won by: SH; Nk; 1-1/2; (1-26.3). Tote: Win Rs 55; Place: 18; 21; 29; Quinella: 103; Tanala: 1,122. Fav: Aiberni (10). Winner trained by Asfand.

5. Royal Double Cup 1,400m: (13-14-3-2) Winning Glory (I. Chisty) 1; No Regrets (M. Reuben) 2; Immaculate (Merchant) 3; Anokato (Upadhya) 4. Won by: 3/4; 1-1/4; 1-1/4; (1-26.2). Tote: Win Rs 77; Place: 23; 25; 19; Quinella: 321; Tanala: 2,258. Fav: Immaculate (3). Winner trained by Jaiswal.

6. Favorite Handicap 1,200m: (6-3-14-4) Darth Vader (Gajender) 1; Ever So Loyal (Rabani) 2; Keep The Faith (I. Chisty) 3; Crest Star (Yasin) 4. Won by: 3/4; 1-1/4; SH; (1-15.1). Tote: Win Rs 93; Place: 34; 28; 17; Quinella: 471; Tanala: 2,929. Fav: Keep The Faith (14). Winner trained by R. Alford.

Jackpot: Rs 2,41,626 (Carried over); (C) Rs 12,426.

Treble: (i) Rs 1,026; (ii) Rs 5,535.


Maintained by Web Development Company