Board to slap complete phone-ban during match
Dipendu brace takes EB past SAIL
Saba to leave for final check-up
State to pitch in, claim Bagan
Icons like P.T. Usha never fade
E. Coalfields pip Sonali
Sayantan Dutta in three-way lead
Nandita stuns Kasturi
Starry Flag is horse for the course
Track trials

Calcutta, July 25 
The ban on cell-phones during match hours, introduced by Sandeep Patil in the autumn of 1996 and loosely followed since, will be strictly enforced September onwards.

According to The Telegraph�s sources in the Board, an �unambiguous� clause in the Code of Conduct, which is being finalised, will prohibit even the carrying of cell-phones to match venues.

Every player selected for India will, before a series/tournament, have to give an undertaking he will abide by the Code. It�s one fall-out of recent events.

Unless either New Delhi/Islamabad puts a spanner, the Code will formally be operative from the September 9-17 Sahara Cup in Toronto.

�Cell-phones will be a strict no-no from the time the team bus leaves the hotel and returns in the evening/night. Till now, it was only implied cell-phones were banned. That�s going to change,� informed a source.

He added: �Not just cell-phones, the players will also be kept away from land-lines (during match hours). They can only take a call in case of a family-emergency and that, too, with the manager�s permission.�

This is a step forward � seemingly foolproof as well � from the one initiated by Patil when he was India�s cricket manager (as the national coach was then designated).

Patil, now Kenya�s coach, banned cell-phones after his unhappy �experience� on the summer tour of England that same year.

It is understood a senior member of the team, in particular, spent more time on his cell-phone than in focussing on batting. The frequency of calls didn�t amuse Patil one bit.

Patil, however, was sacked just months after enforcing that ban (operative from the Singer meet in Sri Lanka) and though his successors didn�t rescind the decision, it wasn�t tightly enforced either.

After Cronjegate, ground realities have changed dramatically and the Board today doesn�t wish to leave �loopholes�.

But if some players could find this irksome Union sports minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, at least, should be pleased.

The Board, it may be recalled, will first place the Code before him (on August 1) and only then go public with details.

Dhindsa, however, may not be too happy with the Board not incorporating any clause on the declaration of assets.

The Board, though, has good reasons for not doing so.

As a source put it: �We, in the Board, have no locus-standi getting involved with matters best handled by government agencies. For instance, we can�t also ask players to declare their endorsement-earnings to us.�

The source clarified wives will be allowed to accompany players (contrary to the impression created in a section of the Media) � of course, after obtaining the Board president�s permission. This is the prevailing practice.

It is learnt the Code will include all 18 dos and don�ts which currently �bind� players. The dos and don�ts are listed in a letter issued to all who make the shortlist for any tournament/series.

The Code, one understands, has drawn heavily from the International Cricket Council�s Code of Conduct and its clear-cut list of Unacceptable Behaviour.

Meanwhile, one learns it�s to avoid a repeat of the Manoj Prabhakar-Ajit Wadekar (Colombo, 1994) fiasco, that it will be mandatory for any player offered an inducement to inform the police in addition to the manager.

�By keeping a �neutral� party informed, nobody will be able to confuse things by issuing denials. In the event of an incident, each will know where he stands,� explained a source.

The Board�s Code-specific committee, with treasurer Kishore Rungta as convenor, met in Mumbai yesterday and will do so again before August 1.

With there being no Players/Cricketers Association in these parts, a body to officially interact with the Board, inputs from players will remain zero.

Not an ideal scenario but, then, the players have only themselves to blame.    

Calcutta, July 25 
East Bengal got the better of SAIL in a Super Division clash at home today. The 2-0 win, in their last match before Saturday�s big clash with Mohun Bagan, will have put Nayeem�s �boys� in the right frame of mind though the coach himself may be a touch worried over a few rough edges that did show up.

Dipendu Biswas, whose transfer from Mohun Bagan had been shrouded in so much uncertainty, scored both goals for his new club � the first off a 17th minute penalty and the second with a copybook header 28 minutes after the breather.

East Bengal could have come away with a bigger margin, and Dipendu with a hattrick, had they not squandered chances galore. They also seemed to run out of ideas every time they worked themselves to the goalmouth. Strange, for a team that showed so much mobility on the rest of the pitch.

If the scoreline remained within respectable limits, credit must also go to Sudip Sarkar. The SAIL goalkeeper had an inspired outing as he saved what looked certain goals with brilliant dives or by simply being in the right place at the right time.

Despite the many chances that came East Bengal�s way, SAIL were by now means outplayed. But for the 15-20 minutes of the match, they fought gallantly, refusing to be cowered into defensive postures. Actually, it was SAIL�s open game that allowed East Bengal the room to operate in the attacking third, but it also brought SAIL their chances. Had SAIL scored from any of these,we may well have had a different story to tell.

�We had nothing to lose (four points from four matches before today�s game) and some good men in attack, so there was no point in trying to play an ultra-defensive game,� SAIL coach Swapan Sengupta was to say later. The early forays set the tone of the match.

If East Bengal created two scoring opportunities within the first seven minutes � Anit Ghosh and Dipendu making a mess of good crosses � SAIL could have easily gone ahead in the 13th.

The possibility emerged out of a lightening counter-attack that began deep in SAIL territory and finished inches off East Bengal�s left post. Dipak Das and Mridul Halder had combined brilliantly on the right flank before the latter beat the diving East Bengal goalkeeper with an angular push that grazed the post.

It was a coast-to-coast affair from there, though East Bengal were certainly holding the edge. It was entertaining stuff, with both teams sticking to a clean game on a slushy surface that discouraged good football.

The only jarring note was an incident soon after East Bengal�s second goal that fetched Dipendu an yellow card for play acting.

The striker was writhing on the turf soon after a free-kick, suggesting that SAIL�s Charles had kicked him. It would have had the Nigerian picking up his second yellow card of the match and, thus, marching orders had it not been for the alert match officials. The incident sparked off a disturbance and could have had more serious consequences. All for some cheap gamesmanship. All this by the very person who had lighted up the afternoon with his goals.

The first, from the spot, had sent the goalkeeper the wrong way after Ranjit Halder had handled the ball in the SAIL box. The second goal was terrific, Dipendu timing his jump to perfection to dwarf his marker Sarajit Sarkar and meeting the Chandan Das cross superbly. The SAIL goalkeeper could only watch as the ball sailed past him.    

Calcutta, July 25 
Indian wicketkeeper Syed Saba Karim will leave for Chennai Friday for a final check-up of the injury to his right eye.

Speaking to The Telegraph today, Saba said he had completely recovered from the blow and is on way to Chennai for a routine check-up. He has also been advised to wear specially made �correction spectacles� for a few days. �I�ll just have to get used to it. I�m already practising and it is just a matter of days after which it�ll be fine. I feel perfectly fine now.�    

Calcutta, July 25 
The state government will request the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to waive the punishment meted out to Mohun Bagan for their failure to organise the Asian Club Cup home tie against Japan�s Jubilo Iwata last October.

Club secretary Anjan Mitra, who had a meeting today with state sports minister Subhas Chakraborty, said the minister admitted that the club was in no way responsible for the match falling through as the police had refused permission.

The AFC had in February slapped a fine of $ US 3000 on the National League champions and a one-year ban from the tournament. On May 25, the AFC executive Committee dismissed Bagan�s appeal against the punishment following which the club has had to cough up the fine.

Mohun Bagan had on October 10 tried to postpone the match, scheduled for October 16, after the police said it was in no position to provide adequate number of personnel as the day marked the beginning of the Durga Puja.

Two days after the postponement, AFC awarded full points to Iwata and in February imposed the fine and ban on the club.    

Calcutta, July 25 
One school of thought feels this announcement (of P. T. Usha�s retirement) has come three-four years too late. The other school is not so sure: they talk about the 1998 Fukuoka Asian Track and Field performance of the �Pyoli Express� � a gold and a silver (relays) � to prove there is much left to her yet.

Whatever the logic, there are only that many years of active life in a top class athlete. The wane is a natural phenomenon. Surely, 36-year-old athletes are not uncommon in world athletics (Sandra Farmer-Patrick, who came back successfully at a late age, and after childbirth, is a case in point), but these are exceptions that prove the rule.

Late in 1998, in Calcutta for the Open nationals, she was still bubbly with confidence, off her Fukuoka experience. But she was practical too. Asked what kept her going, she said her �dreams�. �Athletes these days have rather small dreams,� she said. �They want to be state champions, be national champion, just be a part of the contingent at international meets. You score big only when your dreams are as big. I used to dream of Olympic medals, even a gold medal.�

She came close enough in Los Angeles, but unlike Milkha Singh, she did not want to rest on that lone achievement. She has never been willing to accept that she can lose. When sprinter Rachita Mistry commented sarcastically on the generation and class difference, Usha had simply reminded her young rival what class is really made of. Mistry has, so far, managed a silver at the Asian level.

The two athletes from Kerala who really blazed the tracks in the early Eighties were Usha and M.D. Valasamma. The latter was a middle-distance specialist and Usha managed to take total control of the 100m, the 200m, the 400m flat and the 400m hurdles. The hurdles, especially. Her steps in between were measured and the bends were easily taken in the quarter mile.

The day she faltered in the stepping in between the hurdles, she dipped. That was probably a psychological stammer. She came down to the flats. There, too, she was unbeatable. When Shiny Wilson (nee Abraham) was ruling the middle distances in Asia, Usha kept to the sprints. In 1995 at the Chennai SAF Games, Shiny went through the 52 second barrier (never repeated) and they said she will be remembered the most.

Usha prodded along, still. But late in 1998 she was surely out of the league.

In November of that year she was finally named in the Indian contingent to the Bangkok Asian Games. That, though, was no merit selection. The US can afford to keep back their Jackie Joyner Kersees when they fail to meet required standards (she will not be going to Sydney), but in India emotions rule.

It was only expected that she would only be a passenger on that trip. She should not have been hurt when she was not even considered for the 1600m relay. She was in tears as she watched the team finish second from the sidelines. For the first time in her career she returned home without a medal in five Asian Games since 1982.

There were more early indications. In this city that November (in 1998), on the concluding day of the 38th inter-state athletics meet, Usha collapsed on a cramped hamstring, with 20m to go, leading way ahead in the 200m sprint. That was in addition to an existing pain from a sowllen left heel.

The writing on the wall was clear. That was the day to remember, a day to seal in such an announcement as today.

Icons, though never fade. Retired, or otherwise.    

Calcutta, July 25 
Lakshman Ghosh scored the only goal of the match as Eastern Coalfields tamed Sonali Shibir AC in a first division group A clash of the Calcutta Football League today.

Three players were marched off during the match. While Badal Ghosh of Sonali and Raju Bose of Coalfields were shown the red card for a fight, Coalfields� Ashok Das had to leave the pitch after picking up his second booking of the day.

In the other group A tie, Calcutta Port Trust were held 1-1 by Railway FC. In group B, Taltala Institute beat Sporting Union 1-0 while Taltala Dipti Sangha slipped two without reply past Kalighat Friends.    

Calcutta, July 25 
Fifth-seeded Sayantan Dutta of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Fort William, halted overnight leader Yashpal Singh Sonwani�s string of victories in the sixth round of the Fide-rated The Telegraph Schools� Chess Championship at Gorky Sadan today.

In a drawn end-game Yashpal blundered and allowed Sayantan to set up a winning king-and-pawn ending. Sayantan, now jointly leads the field along with Saptarshi Roy and Gulam Mustafa Bhuiyan of Bangladesh with 5.5 points.

Top seed Saptarshi made short work of Yamben Dhanabir Singh of Manipur in 27 moves in Modern defence. Saptarshi won a pawn in the middle game and then made good use of his excellently placed pieces to win.

Unrated Nilabh Upadhyay of Sunrise School, Howrah, rose to the occasion once again to hold the second seed and national under-12 boys� champion Deep Sengupta of S-E Railway Eng. Medium School, Chakradharpur to a draw in Sicilian Defence. Yesterday Nilabh had drawn against the top seed.

Paramita Ghosh of Salkia GHS, who had excelled in the earlier rounds, went down to Mustafa in 43 moves in the Centre-Counter defence. Paramita had beaten the Bangladesh junior No. 2 Ejaz Hussain in the last round. Paramita mishandled the double rook and pawn ending which cost her the rook and the game. Tanmoy Patnaik of Mitra Institution, Sealdah, held the Jamshedpur leg champion Rohan Vijay Shandilya to a draw in 26 moves in the Scotch opening.

Somak Palit of Mitra Institution, Bhowanipore was held to a draw by former national under-10 champion Rahul Sangma of Bihar in a game of fluctuating fortunes. In a French defence Rahul, playing black, blundered, but a counter-blunder by Somak gave him hopes of a draw. The game continued till the 41st move when the peace treaty was signed.

In an upset of sorts Souparna Ghosh of Don Bosco drew with Samput Mallick of Holy Home, Serampore. Souparna was clearly with a superior position in the middle game but he led Samput off the hook and allowed him to break to a draw.

Horlicks have announced a Best Game prize in this meet. Participants who want to claim the prize must give their names to the chief arbiter by July 30.

Former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi will be chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony to be held from 4.45 pm on July 31 at G.D. Birla Sabhaghar


Yashpal Singh Sonwani lost to Sayantan Dutta, Saptarshi Roy bt Yamben Dhanbir Singh, Deep Sengupta drew Nilabh Upadhyay, Paramita Ghosh lost to Gulam Mustafa Bhuiyan, Somak Palit drew Rahul Sangma, Pratik Sengupta bt Sourab Bose, Tanmoy Pattanayak drew Rohan Vijay Shandilya, Santu Mandal drew Syed Rownak Ehsan, Mufidul Islam Khan lost to Rajib Dhar, Dhrubba Manna drew Joydeep Dutta, Arindam Das lost to Sashank Singh, Abhijit Kar lost to Mary Ann Gomes, Lairenjam Mahesh Singh lost to Sayan Sarkar, Sanjoy Banerjee lost to Ejaz Hussain, Souparna Ghosh drew Samput Mallick, Gurumayum Inao Sharma drew Arpan Chakraborty, Soumya Talukdar lost to Swagatam Sengupta, Suman Bosu drew Soumya Thakurta, Nazir Saleheem drew Akash Kusum, Pranjal lost to Arin Kumar Biswas, Abhishek Das drew Abhinaba Ghosh, Seikh Shahid Ahmed drew Shourab Das, Debaditya Sinha Biswas bt Peetak Mitra, Punit Jaiswal bt Swapan Das.    

Calcutta, July 25 
Nandita Saha tamed Kasturi Chakraborty to lift the women�s singles title at the Cossimbazar table tennis championships today. In an all-Silguri final at the Khudiram Anushilan Kendra, Nandita won 21-17, 21-12,11-21,9-21, 21-16.

Nandita, however, had to bow to top seed Susmita Roy in the girls� final earlier in the day. Susmita had been ousted in the women�s quarter finals by this rising star from Siliguri.

The girls� title-win may have, thus, been sweet revenge for Susmita but it was hard earned with the match going the distance. The scoreline: 14-21, 21-17, 19-21,21-16, 25-23.

The men�s final, in contrast, was a tame affair with sixth seed Subham Chaudhuri sweeping past Indibar Chatterjee 21-12, 21-14, 21-16.


(all finals)

Boys�: Birupaksha Saha bt Niloy Basak 17-21, 21-13, 21-18, 21-19; Sub-junior boys�: Subhadip Das bt Sourav Pradhan 15-21, 23-21,17-21, 21-14, 22-20; Sub-junior girls�: Moonmoon Basak bt Runa Roy 21-12, 21-18, 13-21, 21-16; Cadet boys�: Soumya Nandy bt Soumyajit Sarkar 21-17, 21-9; Cadet girls�: Sukanya Bose bt Nabanita Bose 14-21, 21-14, 23-21; Nursery boys�: Pritam Bose bt Susavan Das 21-11, 19-21, 21-19; Nursery girls�: Tonaya Dutta bt Mousumi Sanyal 20-22, 21-16, 24-22.


Calcutta, July 25 
Cristopher Alford is likely to have a major say in most of the six events in tomorrow�s card. But in the feature event, the 1,400m Prince Blossom Cup, the jockey, atop Aredal, may need more than luck to conquer Starry Flag. The Sheikh Albadou-Raiwand five-year-old is the horse for the course. Last monsoon, the Bharath Singh-trainee had reeled off a hattrick of wins, including a seven-furl-ong race. Jockey Manohar Singh is unlikely to make a mistake on the horse benefited by the barrier trial after his return from Bangalore.

Read as: Horse number, last four runs, horse name, trainer, jockey, weight & draw:

Happy Scot Handicap 1,400m (Cl III�Rated 44-72)

1 3204 Sky Command [Mujeeb] Manohar S. 60.0 1

2 ---- Atacama [Bharath] Dalpat S. 59.5 5

3 0101 Auctioneer [Vijay] C. Alford 55.5 6

4 1000 Kargil Soldier [Stephens] M. Reuben 53.0 3

5 3303 Tejeni [Vijay] Md. Amil 48.0 4

6 1000 Persuasion [Bharath] S. Rabani 47.5 2

1. auctioneer (3) 2. SKY COMMAND (1) 3. tejeni (5)

Auctioneer: Vastly improved. May win, though running against a stiff bunch. Sky Command: Has always been a threat in the present class. Tejeni: May upset.

Law Win Handicap 1,000m (C lV �Rt. 22-50) � Indian jockeys only

1 0004 Silver Raising [Javed] N. Akhtar 60.0 1

2 0200 Friendly Knight [Mujeeb] Md Yacoob 56.5 4

3 - 201 On The Bit [Stephens] Rutherford A. 54.5 8

4 - - 22 Piece Of Cake [David] S. Tamang 54.0 2

5 1000 Flying Power [Karki] M. Reuben 54.0 7

6 1000 Global Harmony [Mujeeb] Som S. 53.5 5

7 3032 Aracruz [Bharath] C. Alford 51.0 3

8 3000 Magic Ring [Karki] Saran S. 50.0 6

1. Aracruz (7) 2. on the bit (3) 3. piece of cake (4)

Aracruz: Has matched strides with a superior opposition recently in Bangalore. Merits regard. On The Bit: Although an easy last start winner, still may find Aracruz a hard nut to crack. Piece Of Cake: Placed in the lower class. May do so again.

Goolagong Handicap 1,400m (Cl V � Rt. 00-28) � Indian jockeys only

1 3044 Arizona Star [Mujeeb] Sher S. 60.0 1

2 0102 Tribal Warlord [Rodrigues] G. Upadhya 57.0 6

3 0041 Quizzical [Vijay] C. Alford 56.5 2

4 0304 Ballet Master [R. Alford] R. Gowli 55.0 7

5 - 003 Atacada [Bharath] S. Rabani 53.5 5

6 0043 Armila [P. Locke] Md Yasin 51.5 4

7 0000 Aeolian [Bharath] Md Islam 48.0 3

1. quizzical (3) 2. ballet master (4) 3. atacada (5)

Quizzical: Ignore her tight-win in lower class over 1,000m. Ideally cut out for the slated trip. Ballet Master: Runs with a chance over the trip. Atacada: May place.

La Gitana Cup 1,800m (Cl II & Cl III�Rt. 44-94)

1 - - -1 Sharp Sensation [David] A. P. Singh 60.0 2

W ---- Remember The Day [R. Alford] (withdrawn) 57.0 --

3 3430 Citadel [Bharath] Manohar S. 56.5 5

4 2332 High Life [Bharath] S. Rabani 56.5 3

5 2100 Aldebro [Vijay] Md Amil 55.0 4

6 - 041 Sterling Prospect [Vijay] C. Alford 53.5 1

1. sterling prospect (6) 2. high life (4) 3. aldebro (5)

Sterling Prospect: A fluent winner in his only start last winter. Maintains condition and may win. High Life: A consistent performer. Aldebro: May need the run.

Prince Blossom Cup 1,400m (Terms, 4-y-o & over)

1 3113 Kaizen [Bharath] S. Rabani 51.5 6

2 2430 Starry Flag [Bharath] Manohar S. 51.5 7

3 0124 Arendal [Vijay] C. Alford 49.5 3

4 4041 Falconhead [Vijay] S. Shanker 49.5 4

5 0010 Quickdraw McGraw [R. Alford] Rutherford A. 49.5 5

6 - - -0 Treasurer [Vijay] Md. Amil 49.5 2

7 1003 No Surrender [Javed] M. Reuben 48.0 1

1. starry flag (2) 2. treasurer (6) 3. arendal (3)

Starry Flag: Horse for the course. Reeled off a hattrick of wins last year. Went well in a barrier-trial. Treasurer: Fit and well. May go close. Arendal: May place.

Welfare Lady Handicap 1,000m (Cl V�Rt. 00-28) � Indian jockey only

1 2323 Double Dancer [Javed] M. Reuben 60.0 1

2 0341 Dizzy Diver [P. Locke] D. Locke 59.5 8

3 - - -2 Alesund [Bharath] C. Alford 59.5 3

4 ---- Hot [Vijay] Surender S. 57.0 6

5 - 000 Brid�s Empire [R. Alford] Rutherford A. 55.0 4

6 - 003 Exclusive Girl [R. Alford] R. Gowli 54.0 5

7 - - 00 Three Good [Bharath] Md. Islam 53.5 7

8 - 000 Private Lives [Bharath] S. Rabani 52.0 2

1. Alesund (3) 2. exclusive girl (6) 3. dizzy diver (2)

Alesund: The run-benefit may help her make amends for last failure. Exclusive Girl: Poor handling of Tamang cost her the race. Maintains fitness. Dizzy Diver: May place.

Day�s Best: Aracruz Double: Auctioneer & Sterling Prospect    

Calcutta, July 25 
Fame Star was impressive in today�s work outs.

Outer sand track

1,400m: Fame Star (C. Alford) in 1-42s; (400m) 27s. Fit. Deep Star (Surender) and Alterezza (C. Alford) in 1-42s; (400m) 28s. Former was too good. Alygator (Rb) and Alastar (Surender) in 1-48s; (400m) 30s. Former was a head better. Alyssum (Amil) and Alvarada (C. Alford) in 1-47s; (400m) 26s. Both level.

1,200m: Ashbury (Rb) and Tsavo (Rb) in 1-36s; (400m) 27s. Former was a head better. Acquest (Amil) in 1-29s; (400m) 27 1/5s. Good.

800m: Chivalrous (Rb) in 57s; (400m) 27s. Moved well. Aileron (C. Alford) and Alsadena (Rabani) in 1-1s; (400m) 29s. Former 2 ls better.

600m: Classy Twist (Rb) and Supreme Desire (Rb) in 49s; (400m) 30s. Former 6 ls better. Scavenger�s Son (Rb) and Highland Flame (Rb) in 44s; (400m) 27s. Both level. Clarice Cliff (Rabani) in 49s; (400m) 30s. Fit.

Sand track

800m: Mameena (R. Ahmed) in 57s; (400m) 27s. Fit. No Surrender (Rb) in 58 3/5; (400m) 27s.400m: Tsaynen Blue (Upadhya) in 26s.

On Monday, outer sand track

800m: Sharp Sensation (Amil) in 1-0s; (400m) 28s. Aldebro (A. P. Singh) and Treasurer (Amil) in 54s; (400m) 25s. Both level. Arendal (Surender) and Sterling Prospect (Amil) in 55s; (400m) 26s. Former better. Quizzical (Rb) and Hot (Amil) in 56s; (400m) 26s. Former 6 ls better. Falconhead (Amil) in 56s; (400m) 26s. Fit.

Sand track

600m: Garden Of Heaven (Yacoob) in 44s; (400m) 26s. Noble Canonire (Paswan) in 46 3/5s; (400m) 28 4/5s.

400m: Mameena (Rb) in 25s. Fit. Jayaashva (Som S.) in 24 2/5s.

Mysore selections


Mysore, July 25: The following are the selections for tomorrow�s races:

1.45 pm: Cosmic Creation 1. Strident 2. Western Ghats 3.

2.15 pm: London Beauty 1. Zeke 2. Comic Blush 3.

2.45 pm: Baaja Bajaav 1. Royal Incarnate 2. Ever Ever 3.

3.15 pm: Indian Brave 1. Norfolk King 2. Travel Around 3.

3.45 pm: Activated 1. Nooreen 2. Grand Monarch 3.

4.15 pm: Fast Runner 1. Secret Ballot 2. Austin Jennings 3.

4.45 pm: Spy Court 1. Surf Rider 2. Abyssinian Cat 3.

5.15 pm: Enthralling Parade 1. Belezian 2. Bon Honour 3.

5.45 pm: Estocade 1. Star Sunrise 2. Skillful Miss 3. Day�s Best: Estocade Double: Indian Brave & Activated    


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