Bucking the gaddi trend
Triple crown for Bagan
In the City

Calcutta, April 30: 
In India, the trend is to first head a cricket body and, then, ensure the gaddi isn’t disturbed.

Manipulation often comes into play and, sadly, not all administrators are actually interested in the game. Often, self-promotion takes centrestage.

Yet, there will be exceptions — only, it’s unlikely that many will do an Amitabh Choudhary.

Till Sunday, Choudhary was president of the one-year-old Cricket Association of Jharkhand (CAJ). Now, he will be remembered as the founder-president who stepped aside to ‘facilitate’ affiliation with the BCCI.

[The CAJ is now headed by Tisco managing director B. Muthuraman.]

Choudhary (incidentally, the Jamshedpur SP), of course, has no regrets over bucking the trend.

“Look, I have every reason to believe my resignation won’t go in vain… Cricket is bigger than individuals and, in the circumstances, I’ve made the right move,” Choudhary told The Telegraph Tuesday.

Choudhary didn’t wish to dwell on the circumstances, but it’s no secret that those who currently call the shots in the BCCI weren’t entirely convinced he would play ball (read: Not align with the opposition) once the CAJ got affiliation.

It’s another matter that Choudhary, who has a reputation for dealing straight, wouldn’t have played games. After all, East strongman Jagmohan Dalmiya heads the BCCI and it’s foolish getting on the wrong side of the reigning supremo.

Though Choudhary won’t talk about it, there were enough ‘feelers’ that affiliation would be expedited once the CAJ had a new president. Apparently, there were also misgivings over Ramesh Saxena continuing as secretary.

Choudhary could have waited till the BCCI’s next working committee meeting — to be held either in late May or early June — but decided to ‘force’ the issue.

While affiliation is either granted at the AGM (in September) or at a special general body meeting, the ‘mood’ is known at the working committee itself.

That no decision was taken at the last working committee meeting, in February (New Delhi), is what probably put Choudhary on the road to resignation.

Logically, given the infrastructure (in Jamshedpur and Ranchi, for example), Jamshedpur’s experience in hosting ODIs and the Tatas’ full-fledged support, nobody in Jharkhand should be losing sleep over affiliation.

But, yes, the scenario can change if other issues come into play. The ‘loyalty’ bit, for instance… In his own way, Choudhary has made sure Jharkhand won’t suffer because of a non-cricket reason.


Calcutta, April 30: 
Mohun Bagan cantered to an eight-wicket victory over arch-rivals East Bengal in the J.C. Mukherjee final at the Eden Gardens Tuesday.

This was Bagan’s third title of the season after A.N. Ghosh Trophy and CAB Knockout meet.

Resuming the day at 70 for no loss, Mohun Bagan scored the required 73 runs in just over an hour. Devang Gandhi raced to an unbeaten 42 of 38 balls while Sanjeev Goel remained not out on one.

Mohun Bagan lost their first wicket on 85 when Mainak Sengupta was out for 40 off Abdul Munayam.

But Devang took charge of the situation and started dismissing the East Bengal bowlers to different corners of the park with consumate ease.

His 42 included two towering sixes and four boundaries. At the other end, Goutam Chakraborty played the sheet anchor role to perfection.

Left-arm spinner Subir Dey got the wicket of Chakraborty on 142, but by then only the formalities remained.

East Bengal captain Alokendu Lahiri rued the absence of Sourashish Lahiri. “We really missed him in both the batting and bowling departments,” a visibly upset Lahiri said.

On the other hand, Mohun Bagan captain Utpal Chatterjee gave a lot of credit to his bowlers for winning the coveted tripple crown in the local circuit. “Our batting did not click all through the season, but the bowling was really superb,” Utpal said.


East Bengal 142. Mohun Bagan 143/2 (Devang Gandhi 42 n.o., Mainak Sengupta 40) Mohun Bagan won by 8 wkts.

P. Sen Trophy catches

Mohun Bagan have ensured the services of Javed Anwar and Md Ariz of Uttar Pradesh for the forthcoming P. Sen Trophy.

Talks are also on with Orissa middle-order batsman Rashmi Ranjan Parida and Assam opener Parag Das.

They will also get the services of D. Singh from Kumartuli in lien for the tournament.


Calcutta, April 30: 

Md. Sp. confirm Adekunle

Mohammedan Sporting confirmed the services of Nigerian striker Habib Adekunle Tuesday.

Club officials informed that the Mahindra United striker has finalised the deal with the glamour outfit and will sign very soon. Mohammedan Sporting, however, will retain Lawrence, who had given the club good service last season.

It is also learnt that talks are on with Amandeep Singh, Zaheer Abbas and Shabbir Pasha for the forthcoming season. They are also likely to sign for the Calcutta giants during the inter-club transfers.

A senior club official also said that there has been keen interest among spectators to renew their membership, which begins Thursday.

Tollygunge Agragami, meanwhile, have roped in four players from the Tata Football Academy. Akeem and Moses have also promised to play for Tollygunge. East Bengal’s Isiaka may also sign for Tollygunge.

The club has moved court against their former coach Amal Dutta, demanding monetary compensation. It has also been urged that Dutta be not allowed to coach till the case is finalised. Meanwhile, 126 players signed in the inter-club transfers Tuesday.

Shanti Sangha champions

Shanti Sangha and Vivid YHC moved into first division group B of the BHA league Tuesday. Shanti Sangha trounced Xaverians 3-0 to ensure their promotion while Vivid YHC played out a 1-1 draw with Calcutta Adivasi.

Though Vivid and Calcutta Adivasi were on same points, the former qualified because of a superior goal difference.

In first division group A action, Khalsa Blues thrashed Howrah Union 5-0 with Mandip Singh scoring a hat-trick. A. Kindo and P. Singh scored the other two.

SAI defeated FCI 2-0 in another match with Atal Tirkey and Somra Horo scoring. The third group A match between BSF South Bengal and BSF North Bengal ended goalless.

In a group B match, Sagar Subba scored four goals to help West Bengal Police thrash Chotonagpur by five goals.


South 24 Parganas DSA beat Howrah DSA 59-25 in the golden jubilee kabaddi super league Tuesday. In another match, Habra KA got a walk-over against State Bank of India.

Barreto best

Jose Ramirez Barreto won the Kalantar Player of the Year award Tuesday. The winners in other disciplines are: Mouma Das (table tennis), Subhomoy Das (cricket), Amrapali Das Gupta (swimming), Altafuddin Mollah (kabaddi), Sandipan Chanda (chess).


HOCKEY: BHA league, first division group B: Calcutta Rangers vs Belgachia United (Md Sporting, 3:30)


HOCKEY: BHA league, first division group A: CESC Sports Club vs Calcutta Port Trust (CC&FC); Eastern Railway vs Calcutta Customs (Mohun Bagan). Group B: Punjab SC vs Sporting Union (Md. Sporting) All matches from 3:30 pm

KABADDI: Ashoke Sangha vs SB Kabaddi; Mansa Samity vs North 24 Parganas DSA; Habra KA vs Howrah DSA. Matches at WBKA ground.


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