‘Tough to leave out Kumble’
EB-Bagan title clash
U-19 cricket
11-0 win for CESC
Mumbai Racing/ El Campeador for Byculla Trophy
Mumbai Racing/ Raunchy triumphs
Calcutta Racing/ Nagpals suspension revoked

 
 
‘TOUGH TO LEAVE OUT KUMBLE’ 
 
 
BY LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Calcutta, April 20: 
With Sachin Tendulkar monopolising centrestage yesterday, top gun Anil Kumble’s exclusion in the Port-of-Spain Test took a backseat.

Yet, in recent years, no one decision — influenced strictly by form — has been more significant in Indian cricket.

Neither V.V.S. Laxman’s omission from the Kotla Test (against Zimbabwe), for instance, nor Mohammed Azharuddin’s exclusion after that 1996-97 tour of the West Indies was a bigger decision.

But for the 1991-92 series in Australia, when Kumble didn’t make the squad, and the 11 matches he had to sit out in 2000-2001 owing to injury and surgery, he hasn’t missed a Test since debut 12 years ago.

Specifically, in 69 appearances, Kumble has collected as many as 318 wickets. Plus, he has always been a fierce competitor.

“Well, you can’t get away from tough decisions… I accept keeping Anil out wasn’t easy but, as I’ve said, tough decisions have to be taken,” remarked coach John Wright.

Contacted by The Telegraph before Day-II got underway, Wright added: “Now, it’s important for those picked to deliver… I wouldn’t look back, only look ahead. Look to us scoring in the region of 400 and, then…”

Though Wright didn’t go into details, three factors influenced Kumble’s omission: The leg-spinner’s own modest form, the nature of the Queen’s Park Oval wicket — incidentally, nobody quite read it perfectly — and the Oval’s track record in the past five years. Of the 205 wickets in the six preceding Tests, as many as 168 (over 80 per cent) went to quicks…

Of course, talk that Anil isn’t quite the same leg-spinner overseas continues. In that case, however, he ought not to have been in the West Indies. After all, it’s no state secret he averaged a dismal 90 runs for each of his five wickets in Australia (1999-2000) and also wasn’t effective in South Africa, late last year.

Actually, Kumble was set to be dropped in Port Elizabeth itself, a Test now remembered for ‘action’ of a different kind, but stayed in the XI when Wright prevailed upon Sourav to field two spinners (the other being Harbhajan Singh).

As that St George’s Park wicket was more than just green, it wasn’t an inspired move. Having been ‘bitten’ in Port Elizabeth, Wright probably didn’t press for Kumble. In any case, Sourav had told the team he would — assuming he won the toss — bowl first. The script, therefore, had place for one spinner.

Wright declined to speak about who conveyed the bad news to Kumble, but one understands that unpleasant job fell on the coach himself. Apparently, Kumble was “very disappointed,” yet “accepted the situation like a pro.” He is a tough cookie and his mental make-up definitely isn’t as fragile as a toothpick.

Just as well, for this series is far from over and Kumble may still have a big role in the very next Test, Bridgetown (from May 2).

   

 
 
EB-BAGAN TITLE CLASH 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, April 20: 
East Bengal set up a clash with arch rivals Mohun Bagan when they beat Wari AC by five wickets in the second semi-final of the CAB senior Knockout meet today.

Wari put up 216 for four after winning the toss at Eden Gardens with Avishek Jhunjhunwala’s 76 being the most notable contribution.

East Bengal, helped largely by Nikhil Haldipur’s 65 overhauled the Wari total in the 41st over.

BRIEF SCORES — Wari AC 216/4 in 45ovs (Avishek Jhunjhunwala 76, Monish Jolly 54, Saikat Mukherjee 41). East Bengal 218/5 in 40.5 ovs (Nikhil Haldipur 65, Alokendu Lahiri 44, Abhijit Ganguly 43). EB won by 5 wkts.

   

 
 
U-19 CRICKET 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, April 20: 
A Bangladesh Cricket Board XI will be among the ten to participate in the all-India under-19 inter-state invitation meet organised by the ECDSC and Friends of the Stadium.

State sports minister Subhash Chakraborty, who is also the chairman of the tournament committee, said other teams in the tournament beginning April 27, are from Bengal, Bihar, Hyderabad, Assam, Vidarbha, UP apart from ECDSC and Friends of the Stadium.

The final will be played under the Salt Lake Stadium lights on May 6.

   

 
 
11-0 WIN FOR CESC 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, April 20: 
CESC beat Howrah Union 11-0 in a BHA League, group A game today.

Their party was led by a hattrick by Sunil Soren and a brace each by Christopher Thomas Anil Maity. Krishna Kujur, Raju Rajbhar, Anil Ekka and Albert Tete chipped in with one each.

SAI Training Centre beat East Bengal 2-0, Ajay Tirkey and Stephen Kujur being the scorers.

In other matches, BSF South Bengal lost 2-5 to Customs, who scored through Pradip Tirkey twice, and Sudhir Soi, Ayaz Ahmed and Rajinder Singh. FCI drew CC&FC goalless at the latter’s ground. Calcutta Parsee Club beat Behala SC 3-0 in group B.

Dipankar-Subham final

Top seed Dipankar Adhikari of Howrah will meet Subham Chowdhury of North Calcutta in the men’s singles final of the Central Calcutta table tennis meet at the BBYS tomorrow.

Volleyball teams

The state girls’ and boys’ teams for the mini national volleyball meet to be held in Gwalior from April 24-29 were announced today.

THE TEAMS — BOYS: Sayan Paul, Gaurab Paul, Avijit Mukherjee, Nilabja Das, Kaustav Chatterjee, Pradipta Basak, Mintu Mazumder, Utpal Barik, Rana Dey, Avijit Dey, Surajit Ghoshal, Biswanath Kanrar.

Coach: Mantu Kanrar.

GIRLS: Dolly Parui, Sunanda Bag, Minakshi Ghosh, Sovana Dey, Priyanka Karmakar, Priyanka Malakar, Nirupa Ghosh, Satarupa Pyne, Sangita Das, Riya Dutta, Saheli Banerjee, Alokananda Banerjee.

Coach: Sujata Banerjee.

   

 
 
MUMBAI RACING/ EL CAMPEADOR FOR BYCULLA TROPHY 
 
 
BY HONKY DORY
 
Mumbai, April 20: 
Although outclassed in the Indian St Leger last month when ridden from the front, El Campeador is expected to perform better in a waiting race to win the 2,800m Byculla Club Trophy in Mumbai on Sunday. M. Narredu partners the Vinayak-trainee.

SELECTIONS

3.30 pm: Over The Ocean 1. Safari Girl 2. Caribbean Star 3.

4 pm: Killarney 1. Soviet Lake 2. Consortium 3.

4.30 pm: Lord of Thunder 1. Courageous 2. Turf Star 3.

5 pm: Long John 1. Lightning Arrow 2. Rocks Heart 3

5.30 pm: El Campeador 1. Avantage 2. Altazano 3.

6 pm: Star Dusk 1. The Polynesian 2. Talisman 3.

6.30 pm: Astaire 1. Egalit’e 2. Stilleto Xpress 3.

Day’s Best: El Campeador

Double: Over The Ocean & Lord of Thunder

   

 
 
MUMBAI RACING/ RAUNCHY TRIUMPHS 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Mumbai, April 20: 
Trained by Cooji Katrak and ridden by P. Kamlesh, Raunchy easily won the Enterprising Trophy in Mumbai on Saturday.

RESULTS

(With inter-state dividends)

1. Orange Lily Plate 1,000m: (5-7-1) Seventh Star (Appu) 1; Charging Bullet 2; Park Royal 3. Won by: 6-1/2; 1-1/2; (1-1). Tote: Win Rs 40; Place: 18; 25; 20; Quinella: 198; Tanala: 1,421. Fav: Seventh Star (5).

2. Meghdoot Plate 1,600m: (2-3-5) Idaho (Prakash) 1; Big Blaze 2; Reconquista 3. Won by: 2-1/2; 1/2; (1-38.7). Tote: Win Rs 54; Place: 17; 14; 36; Quinella: 68; Tanala: 711. Fav: Big Blaze (3).

3. Ich Dien Plate 1,400m: (9-4-5) Summeroffortytwo (Phillips) 1; I’m Honoured 2; Mach Two 3. Won by: 1; SH; (1-27.4). Tote: Win Rs 95; Place: 29; 32; 39; Quinella: 1,143; Tanala: 32,551. Fav: Rashomon (8).

4. Enterprising Trophy 1,000m: (2-10-1) Raunchy (Kamlesh) 1; Zante 2; Rainy Stream 3. Won by: 3-3/4; 2-1/4; (1-0). Tote: Win Rs 17; Place: 11; 28; 17; Quinella: 166; Tanala: 596. Fav: Raunchy (2).

5. Fermony Plate 1,000m: (10-6-2) Rosehill Gardens (Shanker) 1; Thunder Clap 2; Reaching Out 3. Won by: 3-3/4; 1; (1-0.9). Tote: Win Rs 704; Place: 105; 21; 39; Quinella: 1,237; Tanala: 92,780 (C.o). Fav: Touch Wood (3).

6. Splendid Girl Plate 1,400m: (4-9-6) Indian Gold (J. Chinoy) 1; Saint Emilion 2; Lucky Spell 3. Won by: Nk; SH; (1-27.4). Tote: Win Rs 72; Place: 26; 29; 26; Quinella: 601; Tanala: 4,287. Fav: Revenger (8).

7. M. Dhalla Plate 1,400m: (3-1-12) Pique (Merchant) 1; Nothing Better 2; Divine Thoughts 3. Won by: 3/4 Nk; (1-28.6). Tote: Win Rs 33; Place: 15; 42; 23; Quinella: 366; Tanala: 3,702. Fav: Pique (3).

Jackpot: Rs 1,72,880 (Carried over).

Treble: (i) Rs 6,555; (ii) Rs 21,575.

   

 
 
CALCUTTA RACING/ NAGPALS SUSPENSION REVOKED 
 
 
BY STAR RACER
 
Calcutta, April 20: 
The suspension order served on four western India horseowners on April 2 was revoked last Thursday, according to an RWITC source. The order came after a cordial meeting held in New Delhi last Tuesday between the Turf Authorities of India delegates and Maneka Gandhi, union minister of state, statistics and programme implementations, and a letter subsequently faxed to the ministry by the suspended owners — Geoffrey Nagpal and three members of his family.

In their letter Nagpals had explained in brief why their ownership should be reinstated. Nagpals, who received a return fax message from the ministry on the same day, were pleasantly surprised, by the turn of events, the sources said.

   
 

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