Eighth Column/ Dravid ideal No. 3: Lloyd
CBFS takes a leaf out of the ICC book
Learning curve hasn’t ended: Rahul Dravid
Musah errors cost EB victory
TAI delegation to meet Maneka Gandhi today
Her ruling is logical: Horseowner

 
 
EIGHTH COLUMN/ DRAVID IDEAL NO. 3: LLOYD 
 
 
LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Sharjah, April 15: 
‘‘The No. 3 slot should, ideally, go to the batsman most suited to consolidate should one or both openers leave early. In my book, Rahul Dravid ought to be batting there. Unless, of course, he doesn’t wish to be slotted in that position.”

That, for you, is the top thought of the legendary Clive ‘Supercat’ Lloyd.

Speaking to The Telegraph Monday afternoon, Lloyd added: “Basically, the slot calls for somebody who can keep concentrating hour-by-hour, session-by-session. And, as I’ve seen over the years, Dravid fits the bill... Actually, what I like most is his ability to play within limitations. Dravid isn’t a Sachin Tendulkar and he knows it.”

A one-time regular No.3, Dravid has been going down the order in the last two Tests.

In Lloyd’s opinion, Dravid should do even better in the four Tests that remain. “After all, wickets in the West Indies have slowed considerably and Dravid won’t mind playing the waiting game... If our thinktank was only focussing on Sachin, there must be a real quick review of strategy.”

Lloyd, a former West Indies captain, coach and manager, heads the CBFS’ technical committee and is also on the ICC’s Elite Panel of Match Referees.

Striking a somewhat different note, the peerless Barry Richards — a member of the commentary team in the Sharjah Cup 2002 — remarked: “Frankly, I’m pretty disappointed that Dravid hasn’t been consistent with big scores against the big teams...It could be because he is in the shadow of Sachin and the captain (Sourav Ganguly)...Perhaps, it’s time to...”

Talking informally in the neighbouring Emirate of Dubai, though, Richards hoped the on-going series will see Dravid coming good in the manner he ought always to be. “It’s a big series, isn’t it?”

   

 
 
CBFS TAKES A LEAF OUT OF THE ICC BOOK 
 
 
LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Sharjah, April 15: 
The Cricketers Benefit Fund Series (CBFS), headquartered in this Emirate, has done an ICC. Specifically, it has appointed a security manager quite like the five regional security managers recruited by the ICC.

Again, like the ICC, which has selected four former police officers (and an ex-Armyman), the CBFS’ appointee too is a one-time cop. The gentleman in question, Ian Taylor, served with the London Metropolitan Police for 30 years. In fact, towards the end, Taylor was assigned to the prestigious Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department.

“We didn’t have to, but we’ve still gone ahead with Taylor’s appointment to ensure a professional oversees the implemention of all recommendations of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit,” CBFS chief executive Zahid Noorani told The Telegraph on Monday afternoon.

Taylor, significantly, will be working in tandem with the Unit’s representative. Bob Smalley, regional security manager-designate for England and the West Indies, is the Unit’s man-on-the-spot in the on going Sharjah Cup 2002.

While the current tournament is Taylor’s first assignment, he will also oversee security at Tangiers in Morocco, where too cricket is being promoted by the CBFS. Tournament No. 1 there is slated for August 12-21.

Incidentally, it’s now mandatory for even all players, coaches and managers to wear their ID cards — except, of course, when in the dressing-room. This definitely is a first in the world of cricket. Moreover, two security cameras have been installed to monitor both approaches to the dressing-rooms.

“Look, we aren’t encroaching on the players’ privacy. It’s just that the access (to the dressing-rooms) is being watched. We took this decision after a security audit by the ICC. Today, in fact, the only ‘outsiders’ who can go anywhere near the dressing-rooms are the attendants,” Noorani explained.

The CBFS, which has been conducting tournaments for almost two decades, is implementing all 26 security-related recommendations of the Lord Paul Condon-headed Unit. The recommendations include team briefings by a Unit representative and payments to the invitee-Boards being managed by an “independent audit company.”

Having been hurt by allegations of match-fixing, the CBFS is now taking ten steps when probably five would have sufficed.

   

 
 
LEARNING CURVE HASN’T ENDED: RAHUL DRAVID 
 
 
LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Sharjah, April 15: 
It was early on Monday (late Sunday in the West Indies) that The Telegraph got through to India’s man of the moment, vice-captain Rahul Dravid, at the team hotel in Georgetown. He was, then, preparing for net-surfing — something which helps him relax. Though in some pain, because of being struck on the grille by Mervyn Dillon, Dravid readily answered queries. The veteran of 56 Tests was, typically, cool.

Excerpts

On having helped India save the follow-on in Test No. 1, besides authoring his first hundred overseas in over three years

Feels nice... It’s a good feeling, largely because I achieved what I set out to — making sure we didn’t have to follow on. I was determined not to lose my wicket both that third afternoon and on the fourth day. Having conceded 500-plus runs, the task for us batsmen had been cut out. I’m happy I played my part.

On not having got an away-hundred since the 107 in Colombo (ATC), in early 1999

I did have opportunities, but the fifty-plus scores weren’t converted... It was a home Test, fine, but I also missed out in Mohali last December (versus England), when I got out for 86...

On whether getting a hundred overseas is more satisfying

(Laughs) A hundred anywhere is satisfying... But, yes, I suppose the ones overseas are more special because traditionally we don’t do too well. My own approach, however, is the same. I don’t think differently, don’t play any differently.

On whether he is conscious about possessing a very handsome average away from home

I’m conscious about doing my bit, conscious of trying to play according to the demands of a particular situation.

On having taken quite some time to settle down, on the third afternoon

Well, it was because of a number of factors... The position we were in, the slowness of the wicket... Also, the bowlers produced a good spell. What matters is that I was clear about my priority.

On rating his latest hundred — his tenth

Oh, that’s a bit difficult... It’s certainly one of my good ones and I would bracket it with the 180 at the Eden Gardens last year (against Australia) and 190 in Hamilton (1998-99, versus New Zealand).

On whether he is actually more comfortable at No. 3, a slot taken by captain Sourav Ganguly in the last two Tests

Honestly, I don’t wish to comment... Anything I say could...

On whether concentrating for hours comes easy

At this level, nothing is easy... Nothing happens overnight, nothing is ever offered on a platter... Six years on, I’m still learning... The learning curve hasn’t ended. In fact, one learns every day. At least I do.

On his hundred possibly having a huge influence on the entire series

It’s good to get some runs early on... Having said that, this is a five-Test series and so much cricket remains to be played. Personally, I hope to build on this one innings. Of course, I’ll be even more happy if the significance of this hundred goes well beyond the first Test.

On just how different was the Bourda Oval wicket on that 1996-97 tour

The one this time sure has more bounce... Wouldn’t say it’s quick by established standards but, yes, the bounce has been there.

On whether he wishes to dedicate his latest hundred to somebody special

(Laughs again) Haven’t thought about it... To the team, perhaps...

On how he intends celebrating

Even as I’m talking to you, I can’t open my mouth fully... Right now, because of the swelling, I can’t eat anything... Thankfully, no damage has been done. Still, I could get myself examined by specialists in Trinidad (where the second Test begins Friday).

   

 
 
MUSAH ERRORS COST EB VICTORY 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, April 15: 
East Bengal 1
Salgaocar 1

A couple of glaring errors by East Bengal’s Ghanaian star Suley Musah allowed Salgaocar to snatch a point from East Bengal in their final National League fixture at the Salt Lake Stadium on Monday.

Brazilian Carlos gave East Bengal the lead from a spot-kick in the 41st minute. Alex Ambrose netted the equaliser in the 60th minute.

Last year’s champions East Bengal thus finished in fifth place with 36 points. Salgaocar took fourth place with a tally of 39.

With East Bengal leading, Musah intercepted an Ambrose pass and managed to relay the ball back to him only. Ambrose had just custodian Sangram Mukherjee to beat and he made no mistake.

Then, in the dying moments of the game, Chandan Das produced a beautiful through pass for Musah, but the Ghanaian pushed the ball straight into the hands of an onrushing Kalyan Chowbey.

East Bengal held sway over the match even after the Salgaocar equaliser. But in the 68th minute, Carlos lost his cool and slapped Franky Barreto. It led to a second booking and the Brazilian had a somewhat inglorious end to his maiden stint in the city. Carlos’ marching off broke East Bengal’s rhythm and brought Salgaocar back into the game. Carlos, though, had an outstanding game, along with Bijen Singh.

They combined brilliantly with midfielders Chandan Das, Dipankar Roy and Shankarlal Chakraborty. They played a number of passes among themselves in the middle-third with Carlos being the pivotal man.

Bijen perhaps had his best game of the season and some of his runs caught Salgaocar napping. The Goans, on the other hand, realised quite quickly they were losing ground. They increased men in defence, adopted a wait-and-watch policy and depended on sudden counter-attacks with Sunday Seah being the lone man in the attack.

The local side should have got ahead in the 25th minute when a brilliant back-header by Bijen off a Chandas corner was headed out by Dharamjeet Singh from the goal-line.

The East Bengal goal was created when Omolaja set Carlos up in the rival box, but Dharamjeet, trying to cover Carlos, handled the ball. The Brazilian converted the resultant penalty by wrong-footing the custodian.

Ten minutes after the breather, Dipankar Roy’s measured centre from the left found Chandan. Olubiyi failed to clear but Chandan shot out with Chowbey at his mercy.

Then in the 68th minute, Dipankar again sent a neat centre but Jackson, playing perhaps for the last time for East Bengal, volleyed it over.

Teams

East Bengal: Sangram Mukherjee, Surya Bikash Chakraborty, Suley Musah, Jackson Egygpong, Dipak Mondal, Shankarlal Chakraborty, Bijen Singh (Soumitra Chakraborty, 81), Chandan Das, Omolaja Olalekan, Dipankar Roy (Dipendu Biswas, 79), Jose Carlos da Silva.

Salgaocar: Kalyan Chowbey, Roberto Fernandes, Franky Barreto, Coven Lawrence, Jos Esteves, Dennis Cabral, Eugene Gray, Majekoounmi Olubiyi, Dharamjit Singh, Sunday Seah, Alex Ambrose (Bruno Coutinho, 78).

   

 
 
TAI DELEGATION TO MEET MANEKA GANDHI TODAY 
 
 
BY STAR RACER
 
April 15: 
A high powered Turf Authorities of India (TAI) delegation will meet Maneka Gandhi, union minster of state for statistics and programme implementations, in New Delhi on Tuesday. The meeting was convened following the suspension of four western India horseowners, on the grounds of excessive whipping of Shamaal, a horse jointly owned by Geoffrey Nagpal with three of his family members and ridden by jockey Malesh Narredu in a race on March 17.

The delegation comprises of Gen. (retired) Shankar Roy Chowdhury, chairman Royal Calcutta Turf Club and R. Reddy, member of parliament and chairman Hyderabad Turf Club. The three other turf clubs in the country will also be represented by their chairmen to solicit the cause of the suspended owner who has been given 15 days time to reply the April 2 notice served on him by the ministry.

Malesh was, however, fined Rs 3000 by the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) stewards but the ministry was of opinion that the jockey merited a severe punishment considering the treatment meted out to the horse. Shamaal had narrowly lost the race to Priceless in the Manjri Stud Breeders Juvenile Fillies Championship. The ministry claims that Malesh had belted Shamaal 16 times as against the stipulated eight cracks permitted during the course of running.

The Nagpals, incidentally, found themselve on the dock as the government notification in regards to Performing Animals (Registration) Rules 2000 (as amended) categorically states that .... “owners shall also ensure that the whip is not used other than either on the quarters in either forehead or backhand position....” The notification also makes it mandatory for all owners of performing animals to get themselves registered with the ministry. Further, the Sub-Rule 3 of the Rule 16 of the Performing Animals states that in the event of breach of any of the condition of registration it may suspend the registration pending enquiry, and after granting an opportunity of hearing, may revoke the registration so granted or issue order or directions as it may consider proper for the welfare of the animals. The cruelty to Animal Act 1960 also makes the offence punishable with a fine and imprisonment, or both.

   

 
 
HER RULING IS LOGICAL: HORSEOWNER 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
April 15: 
The suspension of four western India horseowners — Geoffrey Nagpal and three members of his family — may well serve as a wake up call for the RCTC owners. The city horseowners are, however, in dilemma as to how to deal with such situations. “We can’t remote-control out jockeys;” said an horseowner. “In fact, Geoffrey was in China when Shamaal was being belted;” said another owner.

Harish Ramchandani, one of the leading horseowner in the city, was, however, disgusted with the idea of horseowner being penalised for the whip-happy jockeys. “What has transpired is so ridiculous that it does not merit a comment;” said Harish.

Even as a section of owners questioned about Maneka turning a blind eye towards the plight of Victoria Memorial and Juhu beach horses, some of them were all praise for minister’s concern for animals. “Her (Maneka’s) ruling is logical and no owner can avoid his responsibility. Ignorance of the prevailing law is no excuse;” said Bimal Khemka.

   
 

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