Azhar’s ‘rehab’ on home turf
Amritraj jr guides team to title
In The City
Udhagamandalam Races/ Minstrel Star triumphs

Calcutta, May 22: 
Two months ago, the Pakistan Cricket Board briefly ‘rehabilitated’ disgraced Salim Malik by inviting him for the star-spangled celebrations to mark anniversary No. 10 of the World Cup triumph under Imran Khan.

Perhaps drawing ‘inspiration’, the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) didn’t ignore Mohammed Azharuddin — who is in much the same boat as Malik — during Monday’s high-profile function where the Andhra government formally handed over 16 acres of land.

The land, of course, will be utilised by the HCA — an affiliate of the BCCI, which has banned Azhar — to construct a long-desired stadium of its own. The area, incidentally, is around four kms from the Gymkhana Ground in Secunderabad, from where the HCA operates.

Azhar, in fact, wasn’t just present at the site (where the function was held) but also spoke on the occasion. Around 800 invitees listened to the former India captain with rapt attention.

“Nobody felt awkward… We didn’t feel uncomfortable about inviting Azhar… Actually, the HCA invited all current and former Hyderabad cricketers including ‘Tiger’ Pataudi and Abbas Ali Baig — and dozens responded. It was a special day for us and we didn’t wish to forget anybody.

“Really, we are thankful to all who made it. Had time not been short, I’m confident some of the non Hyderabad-based former cricketers would also have come,” HCA secretary Shivlal Yadav told The Telegraph Wednesday.

Shivlal, who is also a national selector, added that the stadium’s two main gates will bear the names of Hyderabad legends M.L. Jaisimha and Ghulam Ahmed.

A decision on whether the stands, too, will be christened after one-time stalwarts will be taken once the corporate sector’s “response” is known. For instance, should one of the giants make a handsome contribution, a specially earmarked stand could be named after that corporate entity.

According to an upbeat Shivlal, the stadium (to be completed “in about a year” after construction begins) will be modelled on the lines of the state-of-art PCA Stadium in Mohali.

“There still are a couple of drawbacks in the Mohali facility and, so, I’ll be meeting the PCA chief (I.S.Bindra) to learn from his experience — idea being to eliminate those few drawbacks,” Shivlal remarked.

The mega project’s funding will come from the HCA’s own resources, the BCCI and through a loan from Hudco.

Till now, the HCA has been hosting matches at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, which is owned and managed by the Andhra Sports Council.


Calcutta, May 22: 
University of Southern California (USC) emerged champions in the US college tennis championship. No big deal that, but guess who played the stellar role in their success? Well, it was none other than Prakash Amritraj, the elder son of legendary Indian Davis Cupper Vijay Amritraj.

According to information received here, the 11th-ranked USC team notched up three straight upset wins to lift the prestigious trophy. They got the better of No. 3 Baylor in the quarters, No. 2 Illinois in the last four and top seeds Georgia in the final. The 18-year-old Prakash won two matches each — a doubles and the crucial singles — in all those three ties.

Not surprisingly, Prakash was adjudged Most Valuable Player of the tournament. A fine achievement, especially for a youngster in his first year in college tennis.

The title was a fitting farewell gift for coach Dick Leach. The veteran coach, who had been in charge of the USC tennis team for nearly 25 years, had announced earlier that he would be quitting at the end of the national championship. He is likely to be succeeded by son Rick Leach, a former world No. 1 in doubles.


May 22: 

Rs 1.8 crore for galleries

In a move to ensure safety of spectators, the state government has sanctioned Rs 1.81 crore for replacing the wooden galleries with tubular structures in the three enclosed football grounds of the Maidan. IFA joint secretary Ranjit Gupta Wednesday called on state finance minister Asim Dasgupta at the Writers’ Buildings, asking for an expeditious process of rebuilding the grounds.

“My department had sanctioned Rs 1.81 crores for the total replacement of the wooden stands in the three football grounds”, Dasgupta later said. “There were some problems relating to the tenders floated in this regard, but those have been sorted out,” Dasgupta said. The Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting grounds with concrete stands are expected to be ready by July when the local league kicks off, the minister added.

Tollygunge to sue AIFF

Tollygunge Agragami will move court against the AIFF as the national association failed to meet the club’s May 20 deadline to give them an answer on the issue of the 2000-01 National League. The AIFF had taken steps against Vijayan and fined FC Kochin (FCK) for fielding the footballer without completing the necessary technicalities, but refused to award Tollygunge full points against FCK which would have assured the city team the fourth place — instead of the eighth they actually landed in.

Meanwhile, Dipak Mondal and Dipankar Roy signed for East Bengal on Wednesday. Uday Konar will stay back at Mohun Bagan.

Biswal to lead

Orissa allrounder Subit Biswal will lead the NCA East Zone team for the forthcoming inter-NCA tournament to be held in Bangalore from June 5. Saurav Sarkar, Subhojit Paul, Subhojit Banerjee and Amit Biswas from Bengal are likely to make the squad. The team will be selected on May 28.

Karate meet

The first state championship, organised by the West Bengal Karate Council, will commence at the Old Gymnasium Hall, SAI complex, on May 24.

Income Tax win

The East Bengal women got a walkover from Itika Memorial in the women’s league Wednesday. Income Tax trounced Bally Gramanchal 5-0, Sayanti Nandy scoring thrice. In another tie, Nabajanma beat Youth Footballers 1-0.

Telegraph meet

Britannia swamped Everady Industries 7-0 in The Telegraph Merchants’ Cup meet Wednesday.

Other results

IISCO bt CA-TCG Software 5-2; Telegraph Metro bt Tata Power 2-1; Britannia bt Eveready Industries 7-0; McNally Bharat drew VGP Portfolio 0-0; Usha Martin drew Madhya Bharat Papers 1-1; Infar bt KQ School Advantage 0-0; HTA bt Confreight Shipping 1-0; ITC B bt Selvel B 1-0; selvel A bt Digital Think B 4-0; J thomas bt Bayview Technologies 2-0; Tata B drew Tata Tea 1-1, Magors bt Apeejay Surrendra Group 4-2; Magma Leasing drew Digital Think A 1-1; ACCEL ICIM drew HDFC bank 0-0; The Park bt Volga (IFB Agro) 5-1; Skytech Solutions bt ICICI Bank 3-1.


Udhagamandalam, May 22: 
Ridden by Jacob Abraham and trained by Robert Foley, Minstrel Star claimed the Udhagamandalam Cup at the Udhagamandalam races on Wednesday.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Udhagamandalam Cup 2,000m: (4-2-3) Minstrel Star (Abraham) 1; Future Fame 2; Hong Kong Boy 3. Won by: 1-1/2; Hd; (2-12.9). Tote: Win Rs 10; Place: 10; 27; Quinella: 32; Shp: 53; Tanala: 63. Fav: Minstrel Star (4).

2. Cherambadi Plate 1,600m: (1-2-3) Master Weaver (Rajendra S.) 1; Premium Gallo 2; Sterling Fantasy 3. Won by: 7; 1-1/4; (1-46.4). Tote: Win Rs 95; Place: 31; 10; 28; Quinella: 107; Shp: 68; Tanala: 7,870. Fav: Master Weaver (1).

3. Coorg Plate 1,200m: (6-8-4) Signal Tap (Milan) 1; Pearl of India 2; Star Carnival 3. Not run: Splendid Chance (9). Won by: 5; 1-3/4; (1-15.8). Tote: Win Rs 16; Place: 11; 15; 24; Quinella: 33; Shp: 36; Tanala: 237. Fav: Signal Tap (6).

4. S. J. K. Irani Memorial Plate 1,200m: (8-2-5) Power Point (Subbiah) 1; Finishing Touch 2; Owner’s Pride 3. Won by: Nk; 1; (1-17.3). Tote: Win Rs 29; Place: 15; 15; 23; Quinella: 86; Shp: 30; Tanala: 661. Fav: Great Emperor (4).

5. Sathyamangalam Plate, Div-I 1,600m: (8-1-11) Amazing Crown (Ross) 1; Apache Len 2; Cut Ahead 3. Won by: 5; Nk; (1-42.6). Tote: Win Rs 36; Place: 27; 17; 101; Quinella: 110; Shp: 51; Tanala: 6,743. Fav: Great Aswaraaj (3).

6. Sathyamangalam Plate, Div-II 1,600m: (4-8-5) Society Column (Kariappa) 1; Royal Delight 2; Dyanamic Girl 3. Won by: 4-1/2; SH; (1-50.3). Tote: Win Rs 37; Place: 15; 34; 19; Quinella: 305; Shp: 122; Ta- nala: 2,538. Fav: Society Column (4).

7. Maruthamalai Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (8-11-16) Phantom Quest (Prem) 1; Silent Spirit 2; Call Me Grey 3. Won by: 5-1/2; Nk; (1-17). Tote: Win Rs 16; Place: 23; 92; 11; Quinella: 429; Shp: 228; Tanala: 1,241. Fav: Phantom Quest (8).

8. Maruthamalai Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (7-11-8) Octogonal (Senthil) 1; Glittering 2; Casino Ace 3. Won by: 2-1/4; 1/2; (1-19.5). Tote: Win Rs 22; Place: 19; 15; 15; Quinella: 60; Shp: 32; Tanala: 93. Fav: Octogonal (7).

9. Maruthamalai Plate, Div-III 1,200m: (14-16-11) Rare Blossom (Ravinder) 1; Snow Top 2; Bonzo 3. Not run: C’est Egal (4). Won by: 2-1/4; 2-1/4; (1-21.8). Tote: Win Rs 584; Place: 28; 13; 17; Quinella: 157; Shp: 152; Tanala: 8,363. Fav: Snow Top (16).

Jackpot: Rs 3,801 (Carried over to May 29); (C) Rs 244.

Treble: (i) Rs 812; (ii) Rs 819; (iii) Rs 5,510 (Carried over to May 29).

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