Golf/ Title for Mann
Different Strokes
Bhutan pull out
Racing/ Aerobee wins trophy event

Calcutta, June 15 
Indian Gurbaaz Mann won the Singapore junior golf championship at the Jurong Country Club today.

According to information received here, Gurbaaz carded 75 today for a three-round aggregate of 221. Countryman Ashok Kumar was runner-up with 225. India won the team title.

SAI diplomas

Twentyfour coaches were awarded diplomas today for successfully completing the one-year SAI course. Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, the Union minister of state for sports, gave away the diplomas at the SAI Eastern Centre, Salt Lake, this afternoon.

Of the 24, six are from Assam and Nepal, two each from Bengal, Mizoram, Nagaland and Haryana.

Asked what he felt about Hansie Cronje�s revelation that Mohammed Azharuddin had introduced him to an Indian bookie, the sports minister said he wouldn�t make any comment as the CBI was conducting an inquiry.    

Javed Miandad�s influence rubs off on Pakistan team

Pakistan�s victory in the Asia Cup marks a remarkable turnaround in their fortunes after Javed Miandad took over as coach and Moin Khan as captain. Pakistan had lost to Sri Lanka in all the three one-dayers and had lost the first two Tests as well when Intikhab Alam was given the sack and Saeed Anwar replaced as captain.

Anwar was a reluctant captain and he is one of those rare players who does not have captaincy ambitions and is quite content to be one of the members of the side. Moin took to the captaincy like a duck takes to water and Miandad recalled as a coach made an immediate impact with his inputs. Pakistan went on to win the Test and prevented a double clean sweep by the Sri Lankans.

Then they came to Sharjah, won the tournament and went on to win the triangular in the West Indies. But for some umpiring decisions, they would have been the first Pakistan team to win a Test series in the West Indies.

Their narrow defeat did not seem to demoralise them for they came to Dhaka straightaway and demolished all opposition to win the one trophy which had eluded them all this while. There has been a strange reluctance to give Miandad any credit for the winning change he has brought about in the Pakistan team but ask any member of the team, including that champion cricketer Wasim Akram and they will all say that Miandad�s influence has been one of the most crucial factors in their change of fortunes.

He is not only a shrewd analyst of the game, but his positive attitude also rubs off on every member in the dressing room and makes them believe in themselves. During his playing days Miandad was ready to take on any bowler and there were occasions when he was cocky and on the point of being arrogant. Though he may not have had the swagger of Viv Richards, the opposition knew that they had a battle on their hands.

Inevitably, there is comparison with Kapil Dev, another winner, who is the coach of the Indian team but has little to show for his efforts since he took over end of last year. This could well be because the current Pakistan team has few superstars and plenty of youngsters who are all eager to learn while the Indian team has plenty of stars and not that many youngsters.

That may well be a simplistic explanation and not necessarily correct. Maybe the Pakistanis have a greater hunger for success than the Indians. Maybe they know cricket is their only gateway unlike Indians who all have jobs. Also, there�s not much a coach can do once the players have taken the field. He may have discussed tactics, gameplan, strategy et al in the dressing room, but the players may go and do exactly the opposite once the pressure from the opposition builds up. Perhaps it is here that Miandad has been successful, because he thrived under pressure and so is able to tell his players how to cope with it.

Another important aspect is the language. Over the years this has often hampered the feeling of oneness in Indian teams for when a player lapses into his own language, those who don�t understand may feel that something is being spoken about them.

Selection is also important, and here the size of the country makes a difference. It is unfair to be harsh on the selectors, because the way they are chosen makes them believe that they owe greater allegiance to the state and zone they come from rather than to the country. It would be interesting to see if the Mumbai Cricket Association, which has expressed its grievance over the omission of one of its players from the team to Dhaka, would take the lead to see that the zonal system of appointing selectors or those that are in the state association committees, or have business dealings with the board are not appointed selectors.

Being the champion team they should move a resolution that will not only look at the above problems but also set guidelines for the kind of qualifications a selector should have. They should also set guidelines for administrators regarding their terms etc. so that there will be constant progressive thinking in the administration of the game.

That may be a more fruitful way to go rather than publicly criticise the selectors just because their own elections are near and so get some sympathy votes. Indian cricket may have to contend with some unpleasant problems off the field but cricket should never be left behind in tackling these problems. Once the cricket basics are got right, then everything else should fall into place. By basics one does not mean the technique of the game but who should be doing what right from junior cricket upwards. Fortunately, India has no cricketing engagements till early September and this time should be utilised to think about how to improve Indian cricket, not only on the field but also in the boardroom where decisions of cricketing importance are taken.

>Professional Management Group

Calcutta, June 15 
Bhutan have withdrawn from the Asian Youth Under-16 soccer championship qualifiers. They were clubbed with India, Pakistan Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in group IV which is to be held in Jamshedpur from Tuesday.

In a letter to the AIFF, Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) secretary Khare Basnet has stated that since mid-term examinations were clashing with the meet, the BFF wouldn�t be able to field a team.

Bhutan�s pullout has reduced group IV to a four-horse race.

The fixtures have had to be partially altered. The matches will now be completed on June 27, instead of June 30.

The India versus Bangladesh match, originally scheduled for June 26, will now be held the day after to bring the curtains down on the qualifying action. The Pakistan-Sri Lanka game has been rescheduled to June 26.

There will be no matches on June 22 and 25.

Two changes have been made in the Indian squad. UP�s Wajed Ali has replaced Bengal�s Habibur Rehman, while Abhilash Thapa has come in for fellow-TFA boy Subir Thapa.


June 20: India vs Pakistan; June 21: Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh; June 23: India vs Sri Lanka; June 24: Bangladesh vs Pakistan; June 26: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka; June 27: India vs Bangladesh.

Coach confident

Chief coach Islam Akhmedov is confident that India will move into the final round of the forthcoming Asian under-16 meet, reports PTI from Jamshedpur.

�The boys have been undergoing training for the last three months and have shown the ability to qualify to the final round of the championship,� Akhmedov said.

�The boys are now better prepared to meet the challenges ahead. They have a have good chance of emerging group champions.�    

Mysore, June 15 
The J. S. Pillay-trainee Aerobee gave weight and beating to his rivals in the T. V. Reddy Memorial Trophy in Mysore on Thursday. Baj-rang Singh guided the Don�t Forget Me-Stormy Heights colt to victory.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Carnival Plate 1,200m: (1-9-8) All Chatter (Guruprasad) 1; Guchi Gold 2; Eye Opener 3. Won by: 5; 2-1/2; (1-15.5). Tote: Win Rs 25; Place: 16; 41; 29; Quinella: 218; Tanala: 1,378. Fav: All Chatter (1).

2. Capt. Nabi Khan Memorial Plate 1,400m: (3-1-6) Bullet (Arun R.) 1; Green Emperor 2; Indian Brave 3. Won by: SH; 2-1/2; (1-27.7). Tote: Win Rs 32; Place: 17; 12; 16; Quinella: 37; Tanala: 158. Fav: Green Emperor (1). (Note: The winner survived objection lodged by the rider of the second placed horse).

3. T. V. Reddy Memorial Trophy 1,200m: (1-7-3) Aerobee (Bajrang) 1; Greek Lady 2; Abyssinian Cat 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 2-1/4; (1-14.3). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 10; 18; 44; Quinella: 33; Tanala: 600. Fav: Aerobee (1).

4. Kengeri Plate 1,600m: (5-6-4) Googy Gangster (Imran Khan) 1; Belezian 2; Enthralling Parade 3. Won by: 1-3/4; 2-1/4; (1-42.3). Tote: Win Rs 26; Place: 16; 15; 19; Quinella: 57; Tanala: 266. Fav: Googy Gangster (5).

5. Red Chieftan Plate 1,400m: (2-6-5) Nimrod (Faisal Ismail) 1; Letham Grange 2; Galleon De Espania 3. Not run: Crown Ivory (4). Won by: 3/4; 1-3/4; (1-28.4). Tote: Win Rs 24; Place: 15; 45; 23; Quinella: 182; Tanala: 1,281. Fav: Nimrod (2).

6. Hunsur Plate 1,200m: (2-8-9) Skillful Miss (J. Shukla) 1; Liberty Hall 2; Genting Highlands 3. Won by: 2-1/2; 2; (1-14.3). Tote: Win Rs 278; Place: 63; 19; 62; Quinella: 578; Tanala: 49,464. Fav: Like A Princess (6).

Jackpot: Rs 29,838; (C) Rs 140.

Treble: (i) Rs 105; (ii) Rs 2,418.    


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