A captain should stick to principles: Pataudi
Bindra steals march over �ruling� group
Dalmiya to file criminal suit against Agarwal
Bihar in final despite loss
India to field 57 golfers
Course for Indian rallyists
Dhruv to meet Somdev in final
Little Champ may surprise

New Delhi, April 28 
Mansur Ali Khan �Tiger� Pataudi isn�t any longer India�s most successful captain � Sunil Gavaskar equalled his record of nine Test wins and, then, Mohammed Azharuddin eclipsed both � but many still regard Pataudi as the finest.

With good reasons, obviously.

Indeed, while it became fashionable from the mid-Nineties to talk about improving our fielding, Pataudi focussed on it way back in the late Sixties itself. But that�s not his sole contribution.

Pataudi, the youngest-ever International captain (22 years and 77 days in his first match) anywhere, spoke to The Telegraph this evening � specifically on captaincy. Relaxing on a diwan at his Kamaraj Marg residence, Pataudi was candid and witty.

Following are excerpts

On his impressions of Sourav Ganguly as captain

Though the first impressions are good � certainly, no negative vibes have come through � it�s early to form a firm opinion. Hopefully, Sourav will be around for some time (as captain) and an assessment can be made later. Captains, too, need the benefit of experience.

On Sachin Tendulkar relinquishing the captaincy earlier this year

(Smiles) Sachin looks happy with his decision, why should I or anybody else feel otherwise?

On whether/ captaincy can become a burden

Look, nowadays, captains are under more pressure than in my time and, so, some could feel they will be better off without added pressure and more responsibility. I can understand that. Of course, it�s an honour to lead your country but, after a while, it can become a headache.

On whether captaincy affected his batting


On the qualities a captain must have

He should know the game well... Must be able to anticipate situations and should be transparent in dealings. Also, he must be familiar with history: Something that has worked for 20 Tests, is bound to be good for some more.

In other words, stick to (established) principles.

One �principle� I religiously followed was to introduce Chandra when the opposition required 220 rather than just 20 runs. It worked.

On the importance of a captain leading from the front

Well, I wasn�t the side�s best batsman. In that team, it was Vishy... Actually, you have two types of captains � those who push and those who pull. Brearley, for example, pushed. The �leaders� in that side were the Boycotts, Gowers and Bothams... However, Worrell and Benaud pulled. They were the key players.

On the captains he idolised

Worrell and Benaud. Both were supremely confident, besides being very intelligent, though Benaud led a more professional team. They could anticipate situations and were good at man-management.

In fact, I recall something Worrell told his side: �I don�t care if you chaps drink or return late but, for heaven�s sake, don�t ever gamble. That will ruin you.� Worrell felt it was his duty to caution players on non-cricket matters as well.

On the more recent captains who have impressed him

Ranatunga and Cronje. While Ranatunga would never give up, Cronje moulded a not-so-talented bunch into a fantastic unit. Cronje himself was an average cricketer, but a good captain. Somehow, I didn�t see much of Mark Taylor, but I quite like Steve Waugh. He�s a doer and a thinker. Surely, that�s a winning combination.

On his style of captaincy

(Smiles again) I wasn�t the No.1 batsman nor, obviously, the top bowler... Therefore, I got my lead players to get their act right. Instead of pushing or pulling, I would resort to the shove! More seriously, I delegated responsibility.

For instance, I would tell Vishy it was his job to get runs. As for that superb quartet of spinners, the key was giving them confidence. I did my bit and they responded. Indeed, you�ve got to treat all 14/15 players as 14/15 different individuals.

On some of the younger players having been in awe of him

Was that so? Having got the captaincy itself at such a young age I knew it wasn�t easy, generally, for youngsters... I don�t think there was a communication gap... Bottomline was being friendly and team meetings were used to break down whatever barriers existed. I mean, you don�t discuss strategy in team meetings � strategy can�t be discussed with 14/15 people... That�s always done with a core group.

On selectors having the final say in picking the XI during all engagements at home

Shouldn�t be so but, here, the captain�s personality can make a difference. I don�t think Gavaskar ever had a problem. Don�t think I had a problem, either... If the captain presents his case well, I see no reason why the selectors won�t play ball.

On whether the presence of former captains adds to the current incumbent�s pressures

The ideal situation would be for no former captain to be in the squad. But, that may not be possible. So, the captain of the day must be prepared and, unless he has a complex, shouldn�t have problems. At least Wadekar and I didn�t have one.

Finally, his advice to Sourav

Think and act as the India captain. It�s up to you to ensure every player�s body-language has I-N-D-I-A written all over, not a particular region or state.    

New Delhi, April 28 
Cricket�s latest scandal, which has hit India too, won�t leave any winners. Yet, within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), it�s marginalised former president Inderjit Singh Bindra who has scored a point.

Of course, Jagmohan Dalmiya and the �ruling� group have reasons to be incensed with some of Bindra�s statements, but with the Union government ordering a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe � that it would be so was reported by The Telegraph Friday � has vindicated Bindra�s stand.

In fact, from Day I itself, Bindra�s was the sole voice in the administrative fraternity to call for the CBI to step in. The BCCI only went along the other day, realising that involving the CBI was the most favoured option before the government.

The BCCI was, initially, reluctant as it �feared� the government could use this scandal to curtail its autonomy. The stated position was: �Full cooperation to the Delhi police�s on-going investigation.�

�Horses for courses,� is how somebody assessed the BCCI�s (formal) shift, yesterday, but no matter what the BCCI now puts forward, Bindra has stolen a march.

Till Dalmiya and the BCCI�s top brass descended here Wednesday, a day ahead of the meeting called by sports minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa � reportedly �very close� to Bindra � there wasn�t any change in the stand made public last week.

The shift began during the informal meeting with Dhindsa that evening, and the lead was taken by Dalmiya himself, invited as a former BCCI secretary and not the current ICC boss.

Obviously, Dhindsa�s body-language conveyed the government�s thinking (the only other option was to constitute an inquiry commission, with a Supreme Court judge in the chair).

It remains to be seen whether, internally, anybody in the BCCI will seek answers from the top brass, but Bindra must surely now be plotting his next move.

In the short term, specifically, Bindra will be hoping some of those who deserted him, in 1997 and later, will return.

Predictably, the government�s announcement has been well received, by the cricket fraternity and those outside, but former captain Mansur Ali Khan �Tiger� Pataudi did have a point to make.

�I know I�ve been demanding that the CBI get into the picture and, now that it has, I hope there won�t be harrassment of the innocent,� Pataudi said this evening.

That�s a common enough sentiment.    

Calcutta, April 28 
Jagmohan Dalmiya will file a �criminal defamation� suit against former Prasar Bharati financial expert Arun Agarwal.

Agarwal yesterday accused the ICC president and WorldTel chief Mark Mascarenhas of being involved in a �scam� in relation with telecast rights of the Wills International Cup (Dhaka, 1998).

Dalmiya sought an immediate explanation from Prasar Bharati. Doordarshan Deputy Director General K. Kunhikrishnan, in a letter today, made it clear that Agarwal is no longer associated with Prasar Bharati. His association with Prasar Bharati ended on April 23 last year, the letter said.

�Any statement/press conference made by him (Agarwal) is only in his personal capacity and Prasar Bharati has nothing to do with him. Any statement that he has made is done at his own risk and the consequences thereof will have to be only his,� the letter stated.

Dalmiya said he is not contemplating any legal action against Prasar Bharati, but his solicitors have been �advised to go ahead with criminal and other proceedings� against Agarwal.

�It�s necessary to find out the persons who set up Agarwal and are hiding behind him,� he said, adding he may take legal action against a few others as well.    

Calcutta, April 28 
Bengal and Bihar today met in what turned out to be a dress rehearsal for tomorrow�s final of the Eveready East Zone hockey championship.

The hosts scored twice in the last three minutes to emerge 3-2 victors in the last round robin league match at CC&FC but against a team which was playing its second match of the day.

In the morning, Bihar drubbed Assam 5-0 to seal their slot in the title clash. Chandrasekhar Xalxo (2), Bhim Kumar, Arun Minz and Sunil Topno were the scorers.

Manipur, meanwhile, scored a thrilling 3-2 win over Mizoram to clinch the third spot.

Trailing 0-2 till the 33rd minute, Manipur reduced the margin through Y. Ojit before O.K. Tolen and Th. Tompek struck in the dying minutes to snatch victory. Lalthakima and Lalbiakmiya did the scoring for Mizoram.

The Bengal-Bihar match saw the former dominate the first half during which Junus Bara put them ahead. Bihar made a strong comeback after the breather and Soson Topno masterminded two fine moves both of which were converted by Sunil Topnno. Bengal found a saviour in substitute Samarjit Singh who struck in the 67th and 69th minute to help them finish on top of the league table.

Bengal won all league matches while Bihar finished with three wins and a loss. Manipur ended with two victories and defeats apiece and Mizoram came fourth with a win and three defeats. Assam lost all matches to finish at the bottom.    

Calcutta, April 28 
Golf is one of the most happening sports worldwide these days but it is not often that Indian youngsters get a chance to compete at the international level.

Come Tuesday, they will get a taste of the international flavour when the 22nd Asia Pacific junior championship commences at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club. The meet concludes Friday.

This is the only annual fixture where Indians get a chance to cross swords with some of the better Asian nations and the meet comes back to India after 1991.

This time, 98 boys and 28 girls will fight for honours in eight categories and there will also be a team champiopnship for boys and girls. The girls� team championship will be held for the first time and Irina Brar, Gurneet Raikhy and Mayali Talwar will lead the Indian challenge.

The Indian boys finished fifth last year in Myanmar and Ashok Kumar, Gurbaaz Mann, Karan Talwar and Aditya Singh constitute the home team this time.

Indians are fielding 49 boys and eight girls and the toughest challenge is expected from defending champions Thailand, Korea and Chinese Taipei.

There are four age categories each in the boys� and girls� sections and the top five in every class will be awarded trophies. No cash prizes will be given.

Sahil Dewan, a six-year-old boy from Delhi, is the youngest competitor.

Sub-junior cricket

Kalyani Young Men�s Association will meet Suhrid Mitra CCC in the final of the All-Bengal sub-junior cricket tournament. The Kalyani side defeated Pioneer Co-op. CCC by nine wickets at Paoneer Park in Barasat today. In another semi-final, Suhrid Mitra beat Pallysree by 103 wickets.    

Calcutta, April 28 
Simo Lampinen, a veteran rallyist with several championship wins under his belt, is conducting an advanced course for Indian car rally drivers and navigators at Palladam, near Coimbatore.

The five-day course, organised by the Motorsports Association of India (MAI) and sponsored by MRF, ends Saturday.

Chetla Park in semis

Chetla Park A.C. defeated 1923 Chhatra Samity 41-38 in a Nader Chand Auddy and Durga Chand Auddy Memorial All-Bengal Senior Basketball Championship (men) quarter-final match late yesterday.

In another quarter-final today, K.S.S (Burdwan) beat Poilce A.C 50-41.    

Calcutta, April 28 
Top seed Dhruv Kumar of West Bengal hardly had to break sweat in overcoming Arka Mondal in the boys� under-16 semi-final of the All-India Bharat Petroleum Ranking Bengal State Mini/Sub-junior tennis meet at the South Club today. He will meet Tamil Nadu�s Somdev K Varman, the third seed here, in the final.

Varman dropped a set against second seed Saurav Sukul before winning 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

In the girls� under-16, top seed Priyanka Parekh of Bengal will meet statemate and the second seed Ragini Vimal in the final. Both the girls had easy victories in the semi-finals. Parekh beat seventh seed Anjani Kant of Delhi 6-0, 6-1 while Vimal comfortably sidestepped AP�s Oormila Ram 6-1, 6-0.    

Maintaining form and speed despite his advancing age, the Mansoor Shah-trained seven-year-old gelding Little Champ is expected to upset the younger lot in the 1,000m Elusive Pimpernel Trophy at the Mumbai races on Saturday. The in-form apprentice P. Ajay partners the Lingot d�Or-Elation son.


3.30 pm: Loveable Lips 1. Airkraft 2. Total Commitment 3.

4 pm: Tall Boy 1. Forest Fire 2. Power Surge 3.

4.30 pm: Little Champ 1. Table Dancing 2. Intel 3.

5 pm: Bonaparte 1. Enharmonic 2. The Midnight Sun 3.

5.30 pm: Ever So Loyal 1. Amber Music 2. Way Beyond 3.

5.55 pm: Top Mover 1. Northern Angel 2. Right Arrow 3.

6.35 pm: Perfect Strides 1. Stella Maris 2. Shubhangini 3.

Day�s Best: Tall Boy Double: Bonaparte & Perfect Strides    


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