Laxman stays, on the strength of form ballot
Bengal pacers for Lillee camp
Mohun Bagan ‘claim’ Basudeb
In The City
Future Fame likely to strike
Soviet Ace wins main event

Calcutta, May 15: 
After the Mumbai meeting, it’s 2-1 in the national selectors’ favour ‘against’ the team’s thinktank.

Not that a cold game of one-upmanship is on, but Chandu Borde and his colleagues (Madanlal, Shivlal Yadav, Ashok Malhotra and Sanjay Jagdale) did make a point when picking XV for the five ODIs in the West Indies.

Essentially that while the thinktank is free to list preferences, the selection committee isn’t bound to go along all the way.

As was reported in these columns Wednesday, the thinktank didn’t include the in-form V.V.S.Laxman in its preferred squad. Yet, at the meeting, the selectors were unanimous over Laxman staying back for the ODIs. Sanjay Bangar, then, got the chop.

“Those currently in the West Indies may feel Laxman’s running between the wickets isn’t quite what it ought to be. They may also have reservations about his fielding in the deep… However, fact is that a form-player can’t be dropped, even if different forms of the sport come into play,” is what somebody who attended the meeting told The Telegraph.

He added: “In any case, not everybody is spot-on when it comes to taking singles and cutting off runs in the country. Why should Laxman alone be held accountable?”

With the Test series-deciding game just days away, in Jamaica, the selectors apparently didn’t also wish to ‘damage’ Laxman’s confidence. Thus far, after all, he has been India’s top batsman.

It’s another matter, of course, that the same set of selectors dropped Laxman midway during the home series against England, earlier this year.

Incidentally, the selectors didn’t also oblige the thinktank by allowing Ashish Nehra a break. Instead, Borde and Co. rested veteran Jawagal Srinath.

As one of the selectors put it: “There could have been a case for giving Nehra a break… However, we took the logical route by resting somebody who is 32. Nehra is just 23 and if somebody needs to be given a break, it stands to reason that the senior bowler be allowed that benefit…”

It’s only on the Murali Kartik issue that the selectors went along with the thinktank. Kartik, though, wouldn’t have been in the frame had Mervyn Dillon not shattered Anil Kumble’s jaw.

Meanwhile, one understands the selectors may ‘advise’ captain Sourav Ganguly and coach John Wright to field quick Tinu ‘Passenger’ Yohannan during the ODIs.

Young Yohannan made his Test debut in Mohali, last December, but is waiting for his maiden one-day cap.


Calcutta, May 15: 
The CAB has decided to send four pace bowlers to the MRF camp to train under Dennis Lillee. Lillee is scheduled to come to the MRF camp in Chennai in mid-June.

Ranadeb Bose and Shabbir Ali are set to make the trip and the other names will be decided later.

Meanwhile, the CAB also plans to send their under-15 team to Bangladesh in September. Last year, the Bangladesh under-15 team toured the citywhile the Bengal under-16 team went to Bangladesh. This season, the Bangladesh under-17 team will be here.

They are likely to play a host of one-day matches and a couple of three-day games. A senior Bangladesh board official was in Calcutta last month when the decision was taken.

The CAB also plans to send the under-15, 17 and 19 teams to places like Lucknow and Delhi for practice matches. The medical tests of the players will also be done much earlier this time. Last season, under-19 team was seriously handicapped after nine players failed the medical test at the last moment.


Calcutta, May 15: 
Mohun Bagan officials, barely worried about the status the club has had in the country, started off on a lame leg for recruitment Wednesday.

Officials said they have managed to keep back star medio Basudeb Mondal.

Though Mondal had good offers from Mahindra United and Mohammedan Sporting, the Bagan officials claimed that they have confirmed the player and got his token too. Going by the credibility the current crop of officials enjoy, though, one will be well advised to keep fingers crossed on this news.

The same officials also said that they will try to bring back utility man Debjit Ghosh who has decided to shift his allegiance to Mahindra United. They are banking on some ‘technical problems’ in Ghosh’s contract for Mahindra United.

That coincided with the withdrawal of the resignation letter of football secretary Debashis Dutta. What this proved, of course, was that Tuesday’s posturing was a stunt and no more.

In a rather comic turn of events, the club’s executive committee “did not accept” that resignation, it was learnt.

So Dutta decided it was better to stay on. And, to add al the wrong spice to the khichri, the club secretary said no more will any club official express his grievances in public. Meaning that too many grievances exist.


May 15: 

Bagan eves win by a solitary goal

Mohun Bagan edged out Youth Footballers by a solitary goal in a women’s league match at the SAI ground Wednesday. Chauba Devi scored the winner. In another match, Nabajanma defeated Bally Gramanchal by a similar margin.

New IFA president

Arun Poddar was named new president of the IFA Wednesday. There was no election as outgoing president Raghunath Dey did not fight contest at the last moment.

Meanwhile, Amiya Samanta, Noomi Mehta, Krishnendu Banerjee have been elected vice-presidents of the IFA. Subrata Dutta was elected treasurer.

State teams announced

The state athletic squads for the forthcoming inter-state athletic championship to be held in Bangalore from June 1 to 3 was announced Wednesday.

TEAMS: MEN: Tarit Singha Roy, Arup Chatterjee, Sanju Kumar Maji, Shankar Biswas, hari Shankar Roy, Majnu Mondal, Amit Saha, Sanjay Rai, Sk Shamser

WOMEN: Manisha Dey, Kalpana Das, Pinki Pramanik, Pampa Chanda, Tapasi Nandi, Babli Mitra, P Bindu, Sutapa Das, Chaitali Pal, Swarasti Dey, Mukti Saha, Soma Biswas, Manisha Mondal, Y. Bala Devi, L Aruna Devi.

Coach: Kalyan Chowdhury

Women’s cricket

Combined Athletic Club won the five-team women’s league organised by the state women’s cricket association at the Scottish Church Collegiate School ground. They garnered 12 points while Manicktala Cricket Club came second with 10.

Telegraph soccer

Allied Domecq humbled Assam Co by nine goals in The Telegraph Merchants’ Cup soccer tournament at the CC&FC ground Wednesday.

Other results:Transways 1 Selvel B 0; India Foils 7 Telegraph Sports 0; Transworld 3 ITC B 1; Allied Domecq 9 Assam Co 0; ICRA 2 Marine Container Services 0; Skytech Solutions 2 Hyatt Regency 0; ITC A 2 Seagrams 2; ABN AMRO 5 Airtel 3; Tata A 0 Ogilvy & Mather 0; Britannia 6 ICICI Bank 1; BDA 6 Volga (IFB Agro) 0

Sub-junior football

Bagha Shome Football Association thrashed Howrah Kishore Bharati 11-0 in a sub-junior meet match Wednesday.


SOCCER: Telegraph Merchant’s Cup: ACCEL ICIM vs Magma Leasing, Berger Paints vs VGP Portfolios, Telegraph Metro vs Digital Think A, IISCO vs Tata Power (All matches at 7 pm); Selvel A vs Magors, Apeejay Surrendra Group vs Digital Think B, Tata B vs Bayview Technologies, Tata Tea vs J Thomas (All matdches for 7:30 pm); Sanjeevani Projects vs Tata Consultancy Services, Mcnally Bharat vs Hongkong Bank, Sony India vs Carritt Moran, HDFC Bank vs CA-TCG Software (All matches at 8 pm); Infar vs ITC Infotech, Allied Domecq vs Marine Container Services. (All matches at 8:30 pm). Matches at the CC&FC ground.

CRICKET: Ambar Roy sub-junior meet: Matches at various grounds.


Udhagamandalam, May 15: 
The Robert Foley-trained four-year-old Future Fame is fancied to win the 1,400m Rose Garden Plate, the main event at the Udhagamandalam races on Thursday. G. Ross partners the Mischevious Music-Fine Future colt.


11.30 am: Star of Gaiety 1. Fairy Winter 2. Silent Fox 3.
12 noon: Minstrel Star 1. Fairy Regal 2.
12.30 pm: Fighting Brave 1. Supreme Glory 2. Crimson Crest 3.
1 pm: Future Fame 1. Barrier Ridge 2. Queen’s Ransom 3.
1.30 pm: Rainbow Flash 1. Royal Blue 2. Bruce Wilis 3.
2 pm: Amber Royal 1. Ganga Divine 2. Thundering Heart 3.
2.30 pm: Northern Fleet 1. Hunters Wish 2. Magic of Love 3.
3 pm: Celtic Son 1. Oracle King 2. Passionate Queen 3.
3.30 pm: Brightest Star 1. Pacific Prince 2. Runic Symbol 3.

Day’s Best: Minstrel Star

Double: Star of Gaiety & Brightest Star

Udhagamandalam, May 15: 
The Robert Foley-trained Soviet Ace easily won the Kangeyam Plate at the Udhagamandalam races on Wednesday. Rajendra Singh partnered the winner.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. P. T. Sampathkumaran Cup 2,000m: (4-5-7) Our ambition (Milan) 1; Special Star 2; Atalantis 3. Won by: 1-1/2; 3/4; (2-14.2). Tote: Win Rs 394; Place: 52; 52; 10; Quinella: 435; Tanala: 4,178. Fav: Atalantis (7).

2. Town View Plate 1,200m: (4-2-5) Star Carnival (Ross) 1; Signal Tap 2; Pearl of India 3. Won by: 2; 3/4; (1-17.3). Tote: Win Rs 16; Place: 12; 19; Quinella: 44; Tanala: 185. Fav: Signal Tap (2).

3. Udipi Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (10-5-7) Supreme Challenger (Ross) 1; Owner’s Pride 2; Golden River 3. Won by: 4; Nk; (1-16.6). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 12; 15; 20; Quinella: 34; Tanala: 120. Fav: Supreme Challenger (10).

4. Udipi Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (10-6-2) Splendid Pride (Prem) 1; Rock The Cradle 2; Searching Star 3. Won by: 3-1/2; 3-1/2; (1-17.1). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 13; 12; 53; Quinella: 27; Tanala: 427. Fav: Splendid Pride (10).

5. Kangeyam Plate 1,400m: (1-3-5) Soviet Ace (Rajendra S.) 1; Master Weaver 2; Scenic Star 3. Won by: 2-1/2; 2; (1-31.7). Tote: Win Rs 13; Place: 12; 49; 15; Quinella: 262; Tanala: 880. Fav: Soviet Ace (1).

6. Shoranur Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (4-8-11) Balma (Hesnain) 1; Glittering 2; Bonzo 3. Not run: Trikaal (6). Won by: 1-1/2; 1-3/4; (1-19.7). Tote: Win Rs 75; Place: 13; 19; 53; Quinella: 243; Tanala: 3,883. Fav: Amazing Crown (7).

7. Trichur Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (8-3-9) Fleeting Glimpse (Meyn) 1; Jaan-E-Jigar 2; Vigneynee 3. Won by: Nk; 1/2; (1-34.8). Tote: Win Rs 59; Place: 14; 39; 74; Quinella: 371; Tanala: 2,245. Fav: Arctic Charmer (6).

8. Shoranur Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (7-10-9) Cool Prospect (Imran) 1; Regal Charmer 2; Ebony Queen 3. Won by: 1-3/4; Hd; (1-18.3). Tote: Win Rs 212; Place: 28; 14; 41; Quinella: 350; Tanala: 8,798. Fav: Octogonal (3).

9. Trichur Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (3-7-4) Dressed For Dinner (Kariappa) 1; Make A Million 2; Bruce Wilis 3. Won by: 8; 1-3/4; (1-30.2). Tote: Win Rs 22; Place: 17; 19; 17; Quinella: 135; Tanala: 346. Fav: Regal Crest (6).

Jackpot: Rs 9,420 (Carried over on May 16).

Treble: (i) Rs 139; (ii) Rs 4,430 (C.o); (iii) Rs 14,690 (Carried over on May 16).

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