Yuvraj Singh injury will take ‘pressure’ off selectors
Favourites have it easy on Day One
In The City
Calcutta Races/ Four trophies in tomorrow’s card
Track trials/ Winning Hand shines

Calcutta, July 15: 
With Yuvraj Singh having to stay off cricket for three weeks, owing to a chipped bone on his right little finger, the national selectors’ task of ‘accommodating’ the ODI specialists should become easier.

Now, messrs Chandu Borde, Madanlal, Shivlal Yadav, Ashok Malhotra and Sanjay Jagdale will largely have to ‘worry’ about Mohammed Kaif and Dinesh Mongia. Unless, of course, the BCCI chooses to set an unusual precedent on the Yuvraj issue.

At BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya’s behest, the selectors will be meeting here Tuesday.

Officially, the agenda has one point: To “review” India’s consistently high-powered performance in the NatWest Trophy. In effect, it will entail finalising a “formula” to add Kaif and Mongia to the Test squad.

The first of four Tests begins at Lord’s on July 25.

Though outstanding performances do need to be rewarded, Dalmiya’s move to call an “emergent” meeting has caused some confusion. More so, as India doesn’t field the same XI in Tests and ODIs.

In any case, realistically, when even Virender Sehwag (included in the Test XVI) is unlikely to make the first XI, what chance do the ODI specialists have? Therefore, why pack the squad with more ‘passengers’?

According to The Telegraph’s sources, “an exchange of ideas” between the BCCI and the team management focussed on giving adequate rest (during the side games) to the senior pros.

[As many as six first XI players, by the way, could be rested for the three-day tie against West Indies A in Arundel.]

However, while that’s a point worth noting, what’s to happen if both Kaif and Mongia post superb centuries during the July 20-22 match against Hampshire, just days before the first Test?

As of Monday, the team management wasn’t quite sure how such a situation will be tackled. Apparently, the selectors aren’t sure either.

Clearly, having convened an extraordinary meeting, Dalmiya must take the lead in ensuring there’s no ambiguity.

Dalmiya, for his part, insisted he was “more concerned” about “key one-day players” being both fit and in touch with the game (as this is the off-season in India) and that nothing else should be read into his “initiative.”

Speaking exclusively, he said: “It shouldn’t be seen that I’m trying to push somebody into the Test XI. In fact, I’m firm about not getting carried away. At the same time, especially keeping the ICC Champions Trophy (mini World Cup, really) in mind, it won’t be a bad idea if the one-day specialists continued to stay in touch with cricket.”

But will they, then, officially be ineligible for the four Tests? For once, Dalmiya was non-committal.

Meanwhile, to return to Yuvraj, the in-form allrounder injured himself during Saturday’s final, but wasn’t unduly concerned till the finger swelled the next day. He was then referred to a specialist.

While confirming the nature of Yuvraj’s injury, Amrit Mathur, the BCCI’s director of communications, informed that a decision on the allrounder’s return will be taken after Tuesday’s meeting in Calcutta.


Guwahati, July 15: 
The fancied players on top boards had it easy in the inaugural round of The Telegraph Schools’ Chess Championship 2002 which got underway at the Netajee Vidyapeeth Railway Higher Secondary School, Maligaon, Monday.

Handling black pieces, tournament favourite Rajib Dhar of the Netajee Vidyapeeth Railway Higher Secondary School shrugged off the challenge of Ashwin Dasharathy of Army School, Narengi in 26 moves of a Robatsch defence.

Sashank Singh of Nichols High School, Chatribari mated Bikramjit Dhar of Cambridge Public School, Maligaon, in 33 moves. As early as on the sixth move, Sashank exchanged his king knight for his opponent’s dark square bishop and there onwards Bikramjit lost his white piece initiative and allowed Sashank to regroup his forces on the kingside and win the game sans much difficulty.

Playing white pieces, defending Guwahati leg champion K. Sanjay Singh of Kairang LP School, Imphal, had a difficult time to outmanoeuvre Kunal Das of Mahirishi Vidya Mandir, Silpukhuri in a topsy-turvy game. In another match, Nandan Buragohain’s rival Dipon Singh of Manipuri Basti High School pondered a little too much over white’s move and lost on time.

In the quickest and shortest top-table encounter, L. Omeshor of Adimjati Little English School, Imphal took just five moves to deliver the check-mate to Sanjay Mohan of Army School, Narengi.

Sanjay K. Singh of Godwins English School, Guwahati went down fighting to Jibananda Singha of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Silchar in 26 moves a king pawn opening.

Entries swelled to 122 players Monday — 116 boys and six girls, including four from Mizoram, five from Manipur and one from Nagaland — drawn from 69 schools. Six-year-old Manish Bora of Pragjyotish English High School and seven-year-old Nisha Singh of Zakiesato Memorial LP School, Dimapur are the youngest entrants among the boys and the girls respectively.

Sports Council advisor Nripendra Narayan Singh declared the meet open. Before the opening, a one-minute silence was observed to pay last respects to Assamese poet Navakanta Barua died Sunday.


July 15: 

IFA drops foreigners for SA tour

The IFA XI team which has been invited to play two matches versus Manning Rangers FC of South Africa will not be allowed to take any foreign players. This was intimated to the association over fax by the club, through their national soccer federation, and also by the Celebrity Management Group, the company organising this trip.

The association, in its selection meeting Monday, thus brought in Dipendu Biswas, who could not find a berth due to the presence of the likes of Jose Ramirez Barreto and Abdulateef Seriki. There are also several of the Indian under-20 squad, who pushed the country to the next round, to “boost their confidence and to provide them with the much-needed exposure,” according to IFA joint secretary Ranjit Gupta and selection committee chairman Mantoo Ghosh.

Among them are Malsawmtluanga, Syed Rahim Nabi, Ashim Biswas and Subhas Chakraborty.

Dulal Biswas will be skipper. The Manning team is said to have a couple of World Cuppers on payroll. The committee Monday amended and re-amended the list till they were left with 22 names. These players, under coach Mohammed Habeeb, will not really be going through any ‘camp’ or training session (though at practice Monday many of the original 22 had turned up), but they will play three matches before they go — versus Mohammedan Sporting on Thursday and Saturday and against Tollygunge Agragami on Friday.

Only 16 will be chosen, on Saturday.

THE 22 FOR IFA XI — Goalkeepers: Sandip Nandy, Sudip Sarkar, Tapan Karmakar. Defenders: Dulal Biswas, Lolendra Singh, Abhijit Khotal, Manas Das, Hussein Mustafi, Subhasis Roy Chowdhury, Rabindranath Karmakar, Debkumar sasmal. Midfielders: Anit Ghosh, Sandip Das, Alberto D’Cunha, Mehtab Hussain, Malsawmtluanga, Sujoy Dutta. Forwards: Ashim Biswas, Sandip Ghosh, Syed Rahim Nabi, Subhas Chakraborty and Dipendu Biwas.

Das for Md. Sp.

Amit Das signed on with Mohammedan Sporting Monday, boosting the flagging half line of the team. Also joining them with inter-state clearances Monday were forward Syed Rahim Nabi, medio Bhuvan Chandra Joshi and defender Amandeep Singh, all from TFA. Ever-Ready, too, made a purchase Monday, taking in Mohun Bagan’s Bhabani Mohanty.

Title for Sourav

Sourav Ghosal won the under-17 boys’ title at the junior Dutch Open squash meet in Amsterdam Sunday. According to information received here, Ghosal beat Robin Clark of Canada 6-9, 9-6, 9-0, 9-0 in the final.

Hockey meet

Bengal moved into the quarter finals of the MCC Murugappa hockey meet in Chennai Monday on goal difference, despite losing by a goal to IHF juniors.

IOA delegates

Asoke Ghosh, president BOA and B.K. Saha, president Basketball Federation of India, will attend a Commonwealth Games federation meeting in Manchester on July 23 as IOA delegates.

Aquatic meet

The Calcutta Sports Association will be holding its 24th annual all-Bengal aquatic championships from July 25 to 27. The club has, this year, allowed participation for visually, physically and mentally challenged children for its championships.

Basketball camp

YMCA, Wellington, is conducting a basketball coaching camp for schoolchildrenc between 12 and 15 years and is interested in recruiting more.


FOOTBALL: IFA league, Super Division — Mohammedan Sporting vs Ever Ready Association (Md. Sporting), Bhratri Sangha vs FCI (Mohun Bagan), Eastern Railway vs SAIL (East Bengal). 1st div. Gr. A: Police AC vs Milan Bithee (Rabindra Sarovar), Kidderpore vs CFC (Tarun Sangha), ECLSA vs Bata (SAI – I). Matches from 3.30pm.

TABLE TENNIS: CCD meet at Khudiram Anushilan Kendra: Opening day’s matches.


Calcutta, July 15: 
There are seven events in Wednesday’s race-card that also includes four trophy events. Fields, however, average out at shade under seven per event as most of horses are yet to recover from the heat wave experienced last week. Trainers are hopeful that things will improve soon. First race starts at 1.25 pm.


1. Satellite Handicap, 1,100m (Cl V; Rt 18 & below) 1.25 pm: April Ace 60; Castle Moon 59.5; Global Harmony 58; Iron Warrior 55; Don Vittorio 53.5.

2. Midnight Cowboy Cup, 1,200m (Cl I; Rt. 88 & upwards) 1.55 pm: Beneficent 60; Alcalde 55; Acute 52.

3. Moon Fairy Handicap 1,100m (Cl III; Rt. 44-72) 2.30 pm: Revolution 60; Sky Command 58; Arctic Fancy 57; Queen’s Logic 52; Tajik 52; Sergeant Slipper 51; Winning Hand 51; Assertive Dancer 49; Sovereign Bullet 48.5.

4. Adelina Cup 1,400m (Cl VB, maiden 3-y-o only; Rt. 00-28) 3 pm: Musician 60; Adducer 58.5; Social Girl 57; Moon Quest 56.5; Mahika’s Pet 55; Pehlvan 55.

5. Flower Dust Cup 1,400m (Cl. V; Rt. 00-28) 3.30 pm: Blessed Spirit 60; Impressive Prince 59; Bay Dragon 57; Dictate 49; Scenic Song 47.5.

6. Star Flame Cup 1,100m (Cl II; Rt. 66-94) 4 pm: Dancing Dreams 60; Ballet Master 59.5; Argolis 56; Illustrious Reign 52.5; Scarlet Raider 51.5; Discomatic 49.5.

7. Bright Law Handicap 1,200m (Cl IV; Rt. 22-50) 4.30 pm: Declarationoflove 60.5; Rare Gold 57.5; Ace of Spades 56; Flossy 55.5; Yukon 54.5; Simply Monarch 53.5; Tequila Shot 53.5; Schumacher 52.5; Star Selection 52.5; Crowned Prince 49; Finders Keepers 48; New Fortune 47.

Jackpot: 3; 4; 5; 6 & 7.

Treble: (i) 2; 3 & 4; (ii) 5; 6 & 7.

Calcutta, July 15: 
Winning Hand, Yukon and Rare Gold were impressive from among the following horses who tested their hooves during the morning trials on Monday:

Outer sand track

1,000m: Global Harmony (Jayaprakash) in 1-17s; (800m) 58s. (600m) 42s. (400m) 29s.

800m: Winning Hand (Som S.) in 58s; (600m) 43s. (400m) 27s. Yukon (A. P. Singh) in 1-1s; (600m) 42s. (400m) 26s. Good. Tequila Shot (G. Singh) in 1-3s; (600m) 47s. (400m) 30s.

600m: Iron Warrior (Dalpat) in 47s; (400m) 29s.

400m: Keep The Faith (Jaiswal) in 30.

Sand track

800m: Scenic Song (Amil) and Dictate (Jayaprakash) in 1-0s; (600m) 46s. (400m) 30s. Former was a distance better.

600m: Don Vittorio (Shanker) in 40; (400m) 25s. Moved easy. Rare Gold (Amil) in 40s; (400m) 24s. Was handy.

400m: On The Bit (F. Khan) in 25s. Easy. Blessed Spirit (Jaiswal) in 26s. Finders Keepers (Brij S.) in 27s.

On Sunday, outer sand track

The Archer, Social Girl and Star Of Ring were impressive

Outer sand track

800m: The Archer (F. Khan) and Sagittarian (Dalpat) in 56; (600m) 40s. (400m) 26s. Former was far too superior. Ispahan (Dalpat) in 1-0s; (600m) 43s. (400m) 28s. Easy. Software (F. Khan) in 1-0s; (600m) 45s. (400m) 28s. Maintains winning form.

Sand track

800m: Estocade (F. Khan) in 59s; (600m) 42s. (400m) 26s.

600m: Social Girl (Yasin) and Star Of Ring (Asghar) in 40s; (400m) 25s. They were level and were impressive. Star Selection (Asghar) and Assertive Dancer (Yasin) in 42s; (400m) 27s. They were level and they moved attractively. Beneficent (Asghar) in 42s; (400m) 27s. Fit.    


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