Dravid likely to keep
English coach for India
BCCI move to groom ‘keepers
In The City

 
 
DRAVID LIKELY TO KEEP 
 
 
BY LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Calcutta, May 23: 
Unless there’s a last-minute change, vice-captain Rahul Dravid will keep wickets during the first ODI versus the West Indies, at Sabina Park Saturday.

Dravid, of course, has already doubled-up as wicketkeeper in nine of his 168 one-day appearances.

Incidentally, as the second ODI is also at the same venue (the very next day, in fact), it’s quite likely that Dravid will keep wickets then too. Only, that is bound to make a heavy demand on the vice-captain.

[Dravid, it is learnt, will bat at No.5.]

Obviously, strengthening the batting has much to do with this move. At the same time, it could well be ‘difficult’ for Dravid to make the XI if specialist Ajay Ratra is fielded…

Ratra has kept wickets in each of the last 11 ODIs — six against England and, then, five versus Zimbabwe. It’s pretty ironic that while Ratra has more or less cemented his Test berth, he is set to lose the one-day slot.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, the thinktank (as of Thursday) is “debating” whether Sachin Tendulkar, who had an indifferent Test series, should bat at No.4. In that eventuality, captain Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag — making a comeback after an injury-forced break — will open.

One understands “multiple options” are being considered for the five-match series.

While Sourav, Dravid, Tendulkar, Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Dinesh Mongia will fill six of the seven positions earmarked for batsmen, the in-form V.V.S. Laxman is involved in a ‘duel’ with the younger Mohammed Kaif for that one remaining berth.

Where the bowlers are concerned, Ajit Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan look certainties. Should a third seamer be included, Tinu Yohannan may edge out Ashish Nehra. Otherwise, Murali Kartik will take that 11th slot.

The last India-West Indies meeting, in an ODI, was during the summer of 2001 tri-series in Zimbabwe.

   

 
 
ENGLISH COACH FOR INDIA 
 
 
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
 
New Delhi, May 23: 
Thirty-nine year old Englishman, Stephen Constantine, will be India’s seventh foreign national coach. He is expected to reach Delhi on June 15 and take over from incumbent Sukhwinder Singh.

The AIFF president Priya Ranjan Das Munshi announced this after the national governing body’s executive committee meeting here on Thursday.

Constantine’s first assignment will be the six-nation LG Cup in Vietnam in August. He will use this meet to prepare the team for the Asian Games.

Constantine is the second Englishman after Harry Wright in the 1960s to coach India. Other foreign coaches have been Dietmar Pfieffer (former German Democratic Republic), the late Milovan Ciric (erstwhile Yugoslavia), Josef Gelei (Hungary), Jerry Pesek (erstwhile Czechoslovakia) and Rustam Akhramov of Uzbekistan.

Constantine is on the Fifa and Asian Football Confederation panel of instructors and coaches and spent two years in Kathmandu, as national coach of Nepal. He guided Nepal to the silver medal in the 1999 SAF Games. He has also coached Cyprus and the New York Freedoms, for whom he played.

He has a British A coaching license and is a high profile coach with his own website. He also intends to include non-resident Indians like Harpal Singh and Michael Chopra, playing in the English league, in the squad.

A formal agreement with Constantine has yet to be worked out. It is learnt that part of his salary will be funded by AIFF’s marketing agents Strata and also by the AFC.

Sukhwinder, however, may stay as technical director. Derrick Pereira and Aloke Mukherjee are the assistant coaches.

AIFF stands by Blatter

Das Munshi said that the AIFF will vote for Sepp Blatter in the Fifa presidential elections at Seoul on May 29.

The AIFF also intends to start a third division National League and restrict the second division to 12 twelve teams.

   

 
 
BCCI MOVE TO GROOM ‘KEEPERS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, May 23: 
The BCCI has announced a development programme for wicketkeepers at the National Cricket Academy.

In the first phase from June 27 to July 6, Rodney Marsh and Syed Kirmani will train the ‘keepers. The first phase will involve ten stumpers.

The ten selected

Ajay Ratra (Haryana), Deep Dasgupta (Bengal), M.S. Dhoni (Bihar), I. Khalil (Hyderabad), Satyajit Ajit Satbhai (Maharashtra), Parthiv Patel (Gujarat), M.S.K. Prasad (Andhra Pradesh), R. Ozha (Madhya Pradesh), M.M. Nathani (Kerala), Chandan Madan (Punjab).

   

 
 
IN THE CITY 
 
 
 
 

Nostalgia on TV

The BBC on Thursday launched a programme that recounts the glorious moments of Indian cricket. The ten-part series titled Beyond the Boundary, will trace the rise of Indian cricket from the 1970s through the World Cup triumph in 1983 into the 90s. The programme will be aired on Thursdays at 10pm and will be repeated on Sundays at 10 am and 10 pm. The half-hour long programme starts from May 30. The matches and series to be covered in Beyond the Boundary are: May 30: India vs Pakistan (Chennai, 1999); June 6: India vs Australia series (2001); June 13 India vs West Indies (1997); June 20: India vs Pakistan (Delhi, 1999); June 27: India vs South Africa (1996); July 4: India vs Pakistan (Wills Cup, 1997); July 11: India vs Australia series (1998), July 18: India vs South Africa and India vs West Indies (Hero Cup, 1993), July 25: India vs England series (1993), August 1: India’s 1983 World Cup triumph.

Coal India best

Coal India won the five-a-side football meet beating Mohammedan Sporting 3-2 in the finals on Wednesday. Sukhen Sengupta scored twice while Satyajit Chatterjee netted one for the winners. For Mohammedan Sporting, Christopher and Rahamatullah scored.

State volleyball

Cooch Behar Municipal Coaching Centre moved into the sub-junior final of the state volleyball meet Wednesday. They beat Beliaghata Balak Brinda 3-1. In the two quarter final matches, Tollygunge Subhash Sangha and Bally Deshbandhu Club won. The Tollygunge team beat Anushilan Chakra Howrah 3-0 while the Bally side defeated Natunpukur Association Barasat 3-1.

Telegraph meet

Jet Airways trounced Price WaterHouse Coopers 6-0 in their Telegraph Merchants’ Cup match at the CC&FC grounds Wednesday.

Other results

Bata India bt Indian Aluminium 3-0, Jet Airways bt Price Water House Coopers 6-0, Norinco bt Blue Star 5-2, The Taj bt Bharat Petroleum 1-0; Transworld drew Transways 2-2, ITC B bt Tata A 1-0, India Foils bt Selvel B 2-0, O&M bt Telegraph Sports 2-1, Sanjeevani Projects bt Sony India 5-0, McNally Bharat drew Berger 1-1, Hong Kong Bank bt TCS 2-0, HTA bt Usha Martin 2-1, Airtel bt Assam Co 2-0    
 

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