Schedule after government nod: Dalmiya
EB retain Dipendu, Sangram
Ootacamund Racing/ Mighty Squaw triumphs

Calcutta, May 30: 
Just the other day, Union sports minister Uma Bharti had pulled up the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for its �unilateral announcement� that India would travel to Pakistan to play them in an Asian Test Championship (ATC) match in September.

However, as Asian Cricket Foundation (ACF) chairman Jagmohan Dalmiya explained at a press conference today, the ATC fixtures had been drawn up at the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) conclave in Lahore only after the Indian board had produced a letter from the Union sports ministry clarifying its stand vis-a-vis playing against Pakistan.

According to that letter, dated May 10 and signed by B. K. Das, joint secretary, ministry of sports, �India would continue to play Pakistan in multilateral tournaments at regular venues.� By regular venues, the government meant �all venues in Test-playing countries and those recognised by ICC for one-day Internationals such as Kenya.�

The letter � copies of which were distributed to newsmen today along with BCCI president A.C. Muthiah�s earlier correspondence � also stated the ministry had no objection to the Indian team playing in any multilateral tournament �despite the fact that certain matches within these tournaments may be played between India and Pakistan either in India or Pakistan.�

Muthiah, in a letter dated April 25, had sought from the ministry of sports a clear-cut policy of the Union government as to whom India could play and where. Of the six specific points for which clarifications were sought, was the one involving India�s participation in the Asia Cup and ATC, since both those multilateral tournaments would involve Pakistan.

�Having been satisfied with the sports ministry�s response received through the BCCI, the ACC decided to announce the Asian Test Championship schedule,� Mr Dalmiya said. The second edition of the ATC will involve India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Refusing to react to Bharti�s latest �bouncer�, the ACF chief said he wasn�t aware of any recent developments which may have taken place after the Lahore meeting.

Dalmiya informed that the four Test-playing Boards had agreed to sign an agreement with the provision to compensate for losses suffered by the ACC in the event of non-participation by any country/countries. �ACC or ACF can�t force any country to play any particular tournament as that is an internal matter between the Central government and the Board. But to ensure that the ACC doesn�t suffer any embarrassment or losses, this agreement will be relevant.�

The agreement, Dalmiya said, is expected to be signed within two months.

ACC development plans

Elaborating on development plans of the ACC, to be implemented by the ACF, Dalmiya said that three �development officers with considerable cricketing background� will be appointed soon to improve the standard of cricket in countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Nepal, the UAE, Thailand, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.

The meeting also ratified junior events for the next five years. India are to host the 2003 Under-17 Asia Cup. This year�s Under-19 Asia Cup will be held in Nepal from October 8-17.

�Report cosmetic�

On the Paul Condon report on match-fixing, released recently, Dalmiya was scathing in his criticism. �It�s a cosmetic report with more glamour and little substance,� he remarked.

The Condon report has cast aspersions on last year�s ICC KnockOut Trophy final in Nairobi, which India lost to New Zealand. It has also suggested immediate reform of the structure of the ICC, which was headed by Dalmiya from 1996-2000.

�He has made several such observations without substantiating his claims. It doesn�t throw much light on match-fixing issue, doesn�t say anything new. Just making references to some events does not help in solving the issue,� Dalmiya said.


Calcutta, May 30: 
Striker Dipendu Biswas and goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee today gave their written approval to play for East Bengal one more season.

East Bengal also retained the services of midfielder Amit Das who was confined to the sidelines for most of last season because of an injury.

Tollygunge Agragami recruited a trio today � Gopal Das from East Bengal, Joydeb Sarkar from Aikya Sammilani and Samar Mukherjee from Rajasthan � besides retaining Amit Sinha Roy.

Inter-college tennis

Saifee Hall beat CIS 2-0 today to top group B of the Central Excise Athletic Club-organised inter-college tennis meet. In the semis, Saifee will meet NIIT who took second place in group A after beating Don Bosco 2-1.

Jadavpur University, who bagged the last semi-final berth following their 2-0 win over CIS, will clash with Calcutta University.


Group A � NIIT bt Don Bosco 2-1 (Alok Sharma bt Varun Oberoi 7-6, 6-1; Simon Chakraborty lost 2-6, 5-7 to Punar Bhasin; Alok Sharma & S. Chakraborty bt P. Bhasin & Vinay Sethia 6-1, 6-2.)

Group B � Saifee Hall bt CIS 2-0 (Arif Hassan bt Tony Biswas 6-0, 6-0; Shakeb Hassan bt Anshuman Acharya 7-5, 6-2). Jadavpur Univ. bt CIS 2-0 (Indra Sekhar Sen bt A. Acharya 6-2, 6-0; H. Biju Singh bt T. Biswas 6-0, 6-0).

Hooghly District meet

Pritom Bose and Souvik Kar set up a final showdown in the cadet boys� singles of the Hooghly District table tennis championships at Chinsurah.

In the first semi-final, local boy Pritom beat North Calcutta�s Anish Bharadwaj 21-16, 21-18. Souvik (North Calcutta) then edged out North 24 Parganas boy Susovan Das 19-21, 21-17, 21-14.


Ootacamund, May 30: 
Ridden by G. Ross, the Robert Foley-trained five-year-old Mighty Squaw claimed the 1,400m Chamundi Plate the main event at the Ootacamund (Udhagamandalam) races held on Wednesday.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Erode Plate 1,600m: (4-3-2) Supreme Challanger (Ross) 1; King�s Harmony 2; Oracle King 3. Won by: 3; 4; (1-42.2). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 10; 21; Quinella: 33; Tanala: 50. Fav: Supreme Challanger (4).

2. M. Ct. M. Chidambaram Chettiyar Memorial Cup 1,800m: (6-3-5) The Royals (A. Mohan) 1; Cut Ahead 2; Pearl Dragon 3. Won by: 3; 2; (2-0.3). Tote: Win Rs 14; Place: 11; 29; 103; Quinella: 187; Tanala: 2,532. Fav: Supreme Glory (9).

3. Chamundi Plate 1,400m: (2-5-1) Mighty Squaw (Ross) 1; Master Weaver 2; Endless Quest 3. Won by: 3; 2; (1-29.7). Tote: Win Rs 13; Place: 12; 29; 51; Quinella: 143; Tanala: 873. Fav: Mighty Squaw (2).

4. Tirupur Plate 1,300m: (7-1-5) Direct Hit (S. Amjad) 1; Belezian 2; Mr. Collector 3. Not run: Amazing Crown (8). Won by: 4; 2; (1-23.1). Tote: Win Rs 13; Place: 12; 40; 19; Quinella: 223; Tanala: 463. Fav: Direct Hit (7).

5. Alleppey Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (8-7-5) Arctic Charmer (Prem) 1; Forest Light 2; Royal Looks 3. Won by: 3; SH; (1-17.6). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 11; 34; 43; Quinella: 104; Tanala: 757. Fav: Arctic Charmer (8).

6. Alleppey Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (4-6-8) Bourbon Boy (Ross) 1; Swing Till Dawn 2; China Girl 3. Won by: 1-1/2; 1-1/4; (1-17.6).Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 10; 35; 18; Quinella: 96; Tanala: 210. Fav: Bourbon Boy (4).

7. Cannanore Plate, Div-I 1,300m: (5-12-7) Phantom Quest (M. Milan) 1; Victory Arch 2; Green Bench 3. Not run: China Man (11). Won by: 2; 2-1/2; (1-24). Tote: Win Rs 13; Place: 14; 24; 29; Quinella: 68; Tanala: 310. Fav: Phantom Quest (5).

8. Cannanore Plate, Div-II 1,300m: (2-8-4) Regal Crest (S. Amjad) 1; Connected Boy 2; Diamond Ray 3. Won by: 2-3/4; Hd; (1-24.1). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 11; 59; 17; Quinella: 289; Tanala: 825. Fav: Regal Crest (2).

Jackpot: Rs 6,669; (C) Rs 445.

Treble: (i) Rs 692; (ii) Rs 2,179.

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