The country needs Srinath: Sourav
Final day sees five aquatics records rewritten
Top 2 in each event to represent state
Austria win University teams title
Pune Races/Comfortable win for Star Shine
7 for Wednesday’s Pa Bear Cup
Engineer’s courage paid off

Calcutta, Sept. 3: 
Chief selector Chandu Borde has accepted spearhead Jawagal Srinath’s “request” that he be allowed to focus on Test cricket only, but it hasn’t pleased captain Sourav Ganguly too much.

Srinath, who turned 31 last Thursday, isn’t among the 23 probables for the October 3-15 mini-World Cup in Nairobi. That’s a worry for Sourav.

“I intend talking to Borde and the other selectors on returning home (September 19). Then, I’ll probably myself speak to Srinath. The country needs him in ODIs, and Srinath should make himself available,” Sourav told The Telegraph this morning.

Sourav’s concern is understandable: During the May-June Asia Cup (Dhaka), specially, the Thiru Kuramans and Amit Bhandaris just weren’t up to it. The opening ‘attack’ was nothing but a mega flop show.

Contacted in Worcester, where Lancashire play Worcestershire in a National League game, Sourav added: “In my opinion, Srinath still has much to offer in ODIs. Of course, if he wants it that way, Srinath can be rested for some tournaments, but he should be available for the big ones.”

The mini-World Cup surely is a category A meet.

Though Sourav didn’t spell it out, he would like the selectors to devise a formula on the lines of the one prepared by South Africa for Allan Donald: Priority for Tests, but availability is mandatory for major ODI commitments.

This was done as early as January 1997, and the initiative taken by South African Board supremo Dr Ali Bacher. In fact, in the initial stages, Dr Bacher also involved Donald’s petite wife Tina in discussions.

That move has paid off handsomely and Donald continues to be more than a handful for batsmen of all shapes and sizes. In all conditions, too.

Time, then, for Borde and our Board to have a detailed one-to-one with Srinath, who underwent shoulder surgery in mid-1997.

Srinath’s last ODI-appearance (his 187th) remains the opening match of the Sharjah tournament, earlier this year. An injury ruled him out of the rest of that meet and, then, Srinath sought time off till August.

Incidentally, just after Sharjah, coach Kapil Dev ‘leaked’ Srinath’s plans to concentrate largely on Test cricket. However, Board secretary Jaywant Lele himself specifically clarified the spearhead would “only” miss the Asia Cup.

The scenario, though, appears to have altered substantially. After all, had India participated in the recent Singapore tournament, Srinath should have been available then onwards itself.

Srinath has been on national duty from late-1991. Thus far, he has taken 168 wickets in Tests (46 appearances) and 252 in ODIs.

Sourav, meanwhile, declined comment on the exclusion of the controversial Mohammed Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja and Nikhil Chopra.

“It seems the Board has taken a policy decision. Therefore, it wouldn’t be proper for me to react. Generally speaking, however, I’m happy the selectors have shown faith in a clutch of youngsters.”

Off the field, Sourav appears to be learning daily.    

Calcutta, Sept. 3: 
Five records fell on the final day of the state aquatic championships as the heat of competition seemed a match for the scorching sun at the Subhas Sarobar pool. Sudip Chatterjee and Soumak Naskar each rewrote a couple of those marks, while Gouranga Mondal made up for the record he lost by getting a new one for himself.

Sudip, later adjudged Man of the Meet, added the 100 butterfly and the 50 breaststroke records to the 50 butterfly mark he set on Friday, while Soumak dominated the freestyle sprints, setting the mark over both 50 and 100 metres.

The 100 freestyle saw all three podium finishers bring in sub-minute times —- a very rare occurance in Bengal swimming. It actually took on a never-before hue with the first two coming in below 59 seconds.

Gouranga, who lost his 50 breaststroke record to Sudip, had earlier in the day made the 100 breaststroke mark his own.

With the new rivalries, in breaststroke and freestyle, just beginning to blossom, we could well see the records further improve in the near future.

The nine state records that fell over the three days of the meet were all in the men’s section. The ladies had a quieter outing, with Debjani Bhaduri turning out to be the best on view.

The men’s 100 freestyle was an absorbing contest. Soumak and Koushik set a scorching pace from the start and drew in Ranabir into the fight.

Halfway on the homestretch, however, Soumak took control even though Koushik kept the pressure on till the end.


(Unless otherwise mentioned, winners only)
MEN’S 400 freestyle:/ Soumyadeep Bandopadhyay (Calcutta) 4:38.61 seconds. 100 breaststroke: Gouranga Mondal (South 24 Parganas) 1:13.95 (new state record, old mark 1:14.54 by Subhankar Chhetri in 1994).
100 backstroke:/ Koushik Banerjee (Howrah) 1:07.70 secs.
100 butterfly: 1. Sudip Chatterjee (Hooghly) 1:01.88 secs (new state record, old mark 1:03.12 by Pankaj Das in 1997). 2. Ranabir Banerjee (Calcutta) 1:03.00 (betters old mark).
100 freestyle: 1. Soumak Naskar (Calcutta) 58.38 secs (new state record, old mark 58.75 by Akbar Ali Mir in 1998). 2. Koushik Banerjee (Howrah) 58.82 secs (betters old mark). 3. Ranabir Banerjee 59.72 secs.
50 breaststroke: Sudip Chatterjee 38.55 (new state record, old mark 33.84 by Gouranga Mondal in 1999).
50 backstroke: Sudip Chatterjee 30.55 secs.
50 freestyle: Soumak Naskar 26.01 (new state record, old mark 26.06 by Dipesh Bairagi in 1997).
Waterpolo (final): Nadia bt Calcutta 13-10.
WOMEN’S 100 breaststroke: Putul Nandy (North 24 Parganas) 1:24.80 secs.
100 freestyle: Debjani Bhaduri (Calcutta) 1:06.70 secs.
50 freestyle: Rajashree Chakraborty (Calcutta) 30.09 secs.
Waterpolo: Calcutta bt Howrah 7-1.
Men’s team title: South 24 Parganas.
Women’s team title: Calcutta.
Man of the Meet: Sudip Chatterjee.
Woman of the Meet: Debjani Bhaduri.    

Calcutta, Sept. 3: 
The Bengal Amateur Swimming Association (BASA) named the first two finishers of all swimming and diving events of the state aquatic championships, which concluded at the Subhas Sarobar pool today, as probables for the national meet.

The national championhsip will be held at the same venue from November 1-6. The preparations will begin on Wednesday.

The swimmers will train at the Subhas Sarobar. The diving camp will be held at the Central Swimming Club pool at Azad Hind Bag.

Long distance swim

Eclat Swimming Club of Srirampore will organise a 20 km swimming competition in the Hooghly on December 3, according to a club spokesman.

Bula Chowdhury, who recently crossed the Strait of Gibraltar in record time, and her coach, Pashupati Kundu, will be felicitated on the occasion.    

Austria, comprising Arno Lindermann, Andreas Glover, Martin Schifko and Bernd Saurer, edged Italy to win the World University teams championship on Saturday, the seventh day of the World teams bridge Olympiad being played at Maastricht.

In the 21-session round-robin event, the winners, needing at least 17 VP from their last-round match as Italy scored full 25 VP in the round, beat Denmark 21-9 to finish with 435 VP out of 525, five ahead of Italy. Denmark won the bronze.

With the qualifying stage ending, the pre-quarter-finalists were identified in both the Open and Women’s events. In the Open, there were only three changes in the list of qualifiers as it stood overnight.

In group A, Denmark lost both their matches today, 8-22 to Austria and then 14-16 to Brazil to yield their berth to the latter. In B, Australia, who had marginally slipped out, recovered with two big wins while in D, Iceland overtook New Zealand with 44 VP from two matches. The two surprise qualifiers were Belgium and Argentina.

The Indian Open team lost 10-20 (52 imps to 74) to England before winning 20-10 (79 to 55) against Mexico, thereby finishing a dismal eighth in group C with 281, an average of about 16.5 VP per match.

In group A of the Women’s, in the last round Denmark’s hopes were raised with a 22-8 win only to be dashed as Sweden won by an identical margin. In group B, South Africa seemed to have squandered their chances with a last-round 8-22 loss but luckily their closest rival Greece lost by the same margin.

The Indian ladies lost to Turkey 9-21 but then held second-placed France to a 15-15 tie, totalling 191 from 19 matches. They finished 3 VP ahead of Pakistan.

The pairings finalised are

(Open): Italy-Australia; USA-Argentina; Norway-Russia; Netherlands-Iceland; England-Belgium; Poland-France; Indonesia-Brazil; Austria-Sweden.
(Women’s): Germany-Japan; France-Chinese Taipei; Austria-South Africa; Canada-Sweden; Norway-Poland; England-China; Netherlands-Israel; USA-Scotland.

Standings in brief

OPEN qualifiers (max 425 VP from 17 matches) : Group A : 1. Poland 339; 2. Austria 324.5; 3. Belgium 316; 4. Brazil 303; Group B : 1. USA 346; 2. Netherlands 327; 3. Russia 309; 4. Australia 305; Group C : 1. England 350; 2. Indonesia 334.5; 3. Sweden 320; 4. France 311; Group D : 1. Italy 358; 2. Argentina 3335; 3. Norway 325; 4. Iceland 313.
WOMEN’s (max 475 VP from 19 matches) : Group A : 1. USA 359.6; 2. Austria 356; 3. Norway 352; 4. England 347; 5. Chinese Taipei 333.25; 6. Israel 316.5; 7. Japan 308; 8. Sweden 306; Group B : 1. Germany 373; 2. France 368; 3. Canada 356; 4. Netherlands 344; 5. Poland 329; 6. China 319; 7. Scotland 310; 8. South Africa 299.    

Pune, Sept 3: 
The N. Lagad-trainee Star Shine easily won the Parx-General Rajendrasinhji Trophy in Pune on Sunday.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. K. Raghunath Stakes 2,000m: (1-2-4) Storm Dancer (Gallagher) 1; Tap On Power 2; Silver Sea 3. Won by: 3/4; 6-1/2; (2-10). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 10; 19; Quinella: 19; Tanala: 31. Fav: Storm Dancer (1).

2. Princess Beautiful Trophy 1,400m: (1-4-5) Amusing (Aadesh) 1; Spice Boy 2; Merry Lea 3. Won by: 3-1/2; 2-1/4; (1-26.4). Tote: Win Rs 35; Place: 17; 13; Quinella: 26; Tanala: 63. Fav: Spice Boy (4).

3. Rajaram Chhatrapati Trophy 1,800m: (4-3-1) Pleasures (Kader) 1; Mariella 2; El Cid 3. Not run: Champagne Polka (2). Won by: Dist; 6-1/2; (1-54.6). Tote: Win Rs 17; Place: 10; 12; 17; Quinella: 18; Tanala: 93. Fav: Pleasures (4).

4. King Solomon Plate1,600m: (2-1-7) Grand Lodge (Mann) 1; Reactor 2; Atomist 3. Won by: 5-1/2; 2; (1-43.3). Tote: Win Rs 116; Place: 37; 14; 23; Quinella: 255; Tanala: 3,415. Fav: Bag Of Tunes (8).

5. F. A. & K. A. Irani Trophy 1,600m: (7-2-3) Zephyr Bay (M. Narredu) 1; Stars In Her Eyes 3. Won by: 6-1/2; 2; (1-40.7). Tote: Win Rs 104; Place: 26; 15; 17; Quinella: 188; Tanala: 2,909. Fav: Among Men (8).

6. Parx-General Rajendrasinhji Trophy 1,800m: (2-10-9) Star Shine (Rajendra) 1; Piccolina 2; Perceived Value 3. Won by: 1-1/2; Nk; (1-57.5). Tote: Win Rs 29; Place: 12; 23; 19; Quinella: 112; Tanala: 765. Fav: Zenana (1).

7. Golfing Plate 1,100m: (7-8-4) Hiccups (Chauhan) 1; Infamous 2; Sergeant Slipper 3. Won by: 3/4; 3-1/4; (1-9.3). Tote: Win Rs 194; Place: 39; 27; 27; Quinella: 687; Tanala: 20,563. Fav: Rising Fire (14).

8. Ibiza Plate 1,000m: (3-8-2) Current Bay (Ruzaan) 1; Grand Vazir 2; Victory Call 3. Won by: 6-1/2; Nk; (1-1.2). Tote: Win Rs 16; Place: 11; 133; 26; Quinella: 494; Tanala: 3,296. Fav: Current Bay (3). Jackpot: Rs 1,67,112; (C) Rs 50,134. Treble: (i) Rs 1,020; (ii) Rs 895.    

Calcutta, Sept. 3: 
All the seven horses in Wednesday’s main event, the Pa Bear Cup, are closely handicapped. First race starts at 2.05 pm.


1. Diesel Handicap 1,000m (Cl III; Rt. 44-72) 2.05 pm: Sterling Prospect 61; Double Crown 55.5; Crucible 55.5; Rule Wih Honour 50.5; Ardon 48.5.

2. Pa Bear Cup 1,200m (Cl I; Rt. 88 & over) 2.45 pm: Tsavo 60; Treasurer 60; No Surrender 57.5; Adventure 56.5; Clarice Cliff 54; Head Hunter 53.5; Alyssum 49.

3. Casbah Handicap 1,400m (Cl IV; Rt. 22-50) 3.15 pm: Garden Of Heaven 60; Queen’s Logic 59; As You Please 56.5; Ballet Master 53.5; Jayaashva 52.

4. Tug Of War Handicap 1,000m (Cl IV; only 3-y-o Rt. 00-50) 3.45 pm: Arctic Fancy 60; Almond Rock 59.5; On The Bit 56; Alygator 55; Software 50.

5. Aunty Pip Cup 1,200m (Cl V; Rt. 00-28) 4.15 pm: Aristotemus 60; Classic Knight 59.5; Hot 57.5; Bird’s Empire 54; Sapphire And Silk 50; Aeolian 50.

6. Look Round Handicap 1,000m (Cl V; Rt. 00-28) 4.45 pm: Alocina 60; Orbital Star 59.5; Dizzy Diver 58.5; Quizzical 55.5; Magic Ring 54; Whitney 48.5. Jackpot: 2; 3; 4; 5 & 6. Treble: (i) 1; 2 & 3; (ii) 4; 5 & 6.    

Calcutta, Sept. 3: 
The sizeable improvement in the August 30 fields was more because of the psychological pressure created by the arrival of a 30-horse MAM contingent from Bangalore on August 25. All horses are reported to be in racing-fit condition and may just need a spurt or two before they line up in the race-events to follow. Deepak Khaitan’s contingent of 16 horses had come to the city prior to the MAM lot.

City-racing, however, needs at least 50 more horses — from owners other than MAM and Khaitan — to make fields really respectable. It is because ‘entries’ of an owner in each race-event is restricted to four runners only.

Nevertheless, the fare was very competitive and close finishes were the order of the day. The closest of them all was in the Anybody Here Handicap which saw the camera-verdict going against half-money public-favourite Magnifico. Bul Bul won the race and the man behind her success was jockey Naresh Engineer.

A product of the now-defunct school for apprentices, age has not really caught up with the close-to-50 Naresh. He is one those who dares to take on the MAM-Khaitan might. Despite the fact that Bul Bul had failed to lower colours of the two bigwigs in each of her last three starts, Naresh had the guts and courage to challenge their supremacy again. City racing needs a few more professionals like Naresh to make things happen in this sport.

Highland Flame notched up his second win when he lifted the Star Of Italy Cup. The Daniel David-trainee may show further improvement if rested. Only three weeks ago, the Tecorno-Citiglow son had won a race coming out of a 16-month lay-off.

Chicarica, in the Rontgen Handicap, did a Highland Flame. On the shelf for nearly 14 months, the Mujeeb-ur-Rehman six-year-old mare surprised a well-backed youngster, Tsaynen Blue. Leading handsomely till past the 200m marker, the latter looked like pulling it off, but up came E. Smith and Chicarica to beat the tiring favourite.

The last three events were for the public fancies. Sporting a top-weight of 60 kg after her stylish Fillies’ Stakes victory, Allaying was far from a convincing winner as half-money favourite in the Douetil Memorial Cup. Analyzer was a good third.

Although a ‘roarer’, the Bath trainee, Eau Savage landed a good gamble in the Bright Hanover Handicap, thanks largely to Astoria whose smart track-work helped the winner get the odds.

Scarlet Raider’s victory was long overdue and the Richard Alford trainee thrashed her eight rivals in the Buch-anan Handicap. She may win again.    


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