Course curtailment at SAI Eastern Centre
Joydeep Roy hattrick in vain
India lead in Open Teams

Calcutta, May 28: 
The Sports Authority of India�s (SAI) Eastern Centre may have its wings clipped to a major extent.

Right now, the Salt Lake-based unit conducts coaching diploma courses in seven disciplines. But a letter from the SAI�s Delhi-based corporate office informs that courses in taekwondo, wushu, fencing, softball, canoeing/kayaking and sepak takraw will be withdrawn.

That leaves the Eastern Centre with courses in archery, football and athletics. Boxing had already been removed from the Centre�s curriculum.

[Indian Amateur Boxing Federation vice-president Asit Banerjee, however, informed the union sports ministry has been approached to reinstate the boxing course at the Eastern Centre].

In the recently-concluded academic session, for which diplomas were awarded this afternoon, the Eastern Centre conducted courses in archery, athletics, football, boxing, wushu, sepak takraw and canoeing/kayaking.

According to centre director Soumen Chowdhury, who resumed charge recently after a two-month break following a cataract operation, the suspension of courses will lead to a huge �under-utilisation� of resources. �This centre has grown in volume and infrastructure since being founded in 1982-83. After starting with just two disciplines � athletics and football � we have succeeded in expanding its fold but the withdrawal of courses will be a serious setback,� Chowdhury said today.

There is some confusion as well. The SAI prospectus, received by the Eastern Centre in April, lists a few disciplines blacklisted in the corporate office letter as does an advertisement published in newspapers on April 19, inviting applications for admission in coaching courses.

However, the letter from the corporate office (deleting courses from the Centre) was written on April 11, indicating a communication gap in the SAI corporate office.

To add to the confusion, the prospectus allots the Eastern Centre diploma courses in archery, athletics, football, canoeing/kayaking, rowing and sepak takraw with the last two being marked only for those from the North East and the Andamans. The adverstisement, however, doesn�t talk about such restrictions.

Chowdhury was clueless about what prompted the move to shrink courses, saying: �In only the previous academic session (2000-2001), former SAI director general D.K. Mittal had said the Eastern Centre was the best of all the centres.�

The Eastern Centre, he said, was the first to conduct a course in wushu and the batch which passed out today is the only one in the country with certified coaching credential. Chowdhury said he will approach the corporate office through the SAI centre in Patiala, asking them to reconsider.

72 complete diploma

Of the 78 who took the diploma course in coaching last year, 72 succeeded. Among them was former international footballer A. Shantha Kumar who stood first in his event. The only woman to come first in any discipline was O. Geeta Chanu in boxing. She is also the reigning national champion.


Calcutta, May 28: 
A brilliant bowling performance by Joydeep Roy wasn�t enough for his team in the Pepsi Ambar Roy sub-junior meet quarter finals today.

Joydeep bagged seven for 18, including a hattrick, as Sonarpur Sporting Union dismissed Durgapur CC for 117. Sonarpur batsmen fared even more miserably, being all out for 98.

Also advancing to the semi-finals were Bournvita CA, S.P. Memorial CCC Jalpaiguri and Paikpara Sporting Club CCC.


(All quarter finals)

North Howrah CCC 106 (Manoj Mistri 27; Adit Osatwal 3/27). Bournvita CA 110/4 (Osatwal 43; Bharat Dubey 2/21). Bournvita CA won by 6 wkts.

S.P. Roy Memorial CCC Jalpaiguri 149/5 (Arijit Adhikari 41, Namaj Ali 36; Saptarshi Chakraborty 3/27). Tarun Sangha Baghajatin 85 (Arijit Adhikari 4/20). S.P. Roy Memorial won by 64 runs.

Suhrid Mitra CCC 110 (Chandan Pal 38). Paikpara Sp. Club CCC 111/4 (Rahul Singh 27, Samir Bhattacharjee 27; A. Banerjee 2/17). Paikpara won by 6 wkts.

Durgapur CC 117 (Rohan Banerjee 45, Dipanjan Dey 29; Joydeep Roy 7/18). Sonarpur Sp. Union 98/9 (Surajit Karmakar 32; Deep Joardar 3/29). Durgapur won by 19 runs.

Akshay for Salgaocar

East Bengal�s Akshay Das is Goa-bound. The side-back, who played quite a few matches early season, today signed the inter-state transfers in favour of Salgaocar.

CFL gets underway

Bhola Pal Chowdhury hit a hattrick on the opening day of the Calcutta Football League which kicked off with eight fifth-division matches. Pal Chowdhury netted four goals in Mirzapur Union�s 5-0 win over Arunoday.

All other games produced decisive results as well. The day�s winners were Kali Memorial, Beniatola, Orient, International, Saradacharan, Rishikesh Park and Bagmari.


Bahrain, May 28: 
India led in the Open Teams event at the end of the second round of the triple round-robin qualifying in the 11th Asia & Middle East bridge championship being played here with 207 VPs out of 250.

In the five matches of the second leg, India blitzed Jordan 25-0 but faltered 8-22 against Syria largely due to the opponents� bidding, which helped them romp home a lucky slam missing an ace and queen-jack to five trumps.

India then got the better of Pakistan 17-13, before beating hosts Bahrain 24-6 and Sri Lanka 25-3.

In the women�s section, India are just 4 VPs behind leaders Sri Lanka. In the second leg, they lost 14-16 to Bahrain before defeating Pakistan and Jordan by identical margins of 21-9.

Sri Lanka are leading with 183 points followed by India with 179.


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