Karsan Ghavri wants to be the �motivator�
CPT fritter chances galore, draw vs George
Manipur duo in lead
Anand 6 points short of 2800
CAB annual meeting July 30
Gaekwad�s notice to weekly
Calcutta Racing/ Outsiders dominate opening day
Track Trials/ Almond Rock impresses

Calcutta, July 5: 
The flamboyance and grace along with his amicable nature had made him the heart-throb of millions during his playing days.

The former India allrounder, a veteran of 39 Tests, has been ranked by many, including Sunil Gavaskar, as one of the most underrated cricketers who seldom got the recognition he deserved.

A thorough professional, Karsan �Khadubhai� Ghavri has been a constant source of encouragement and motivation in his short stint as coach. Seven seasons ago he inspired a bunch of relative unknowns from Mumbai to the Ranji Trophy title under Ravi Shastri�s leadership. Despite the lure of a three-year contract from the Mumbai Cricket Association, Ghavri quit owing to commitments with employers Bharat Petroleum.

The CAB�s working committee today decided Ghavri will be available as coach of Bengal for this season after July 25.

Ghavri is being projected as the right tonic for Bengal�s sagging hopes on the domestic circuit. But the Mumbaite is cautiously optimistic and feels this will create no additional pressure.

�One can�t expect miracles. Every team needs a growing up time, say a span of at least three years. In fact, it�s too early to make any assessment of Bengal�s chances,� Ghavri told The Telegraph from his Mumbai residence last evening.

He is expected to be in the city on July 27 and take charge. He, though, is not sitting idle and has already started gathering information on the cricketers. �I have been talking to some current players on the circuit. Abhijit Kale, for one, has given me a lot of feedback on the state of affairs. �Once in Calcutta, though, I would like to interact with former players like Ashok Malhotra and Arun Lal. Once I get to know the players personally, the task will become somewhat easier,� Ghavri explained. Like Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Ghavri intends to maintain a detailed database of his players. �It will help to keep a track on the performance of every individual and make necessary assessment.�

To him, the most important aspect of a coach is the �motivating factor�.

�There hasn�t been much change in coaching since the time I was in charge of Mumbai in 1993-94. To be very honest, Ranji players do not need coaching in the stricter sense. What they need is the final tune-up. The motivating factor or the coach�s ability to get the best out of the players come into existence here,� he said. Ghavri, 50, believes it makes a big difference to have an experienced man as coach. �The pace of the game has changed. You have to strike a subtle balance between the four-day and one-day games. The gameplan has to be chalked and changed session to session.�

The introduction of the new format in Ranji Trophy, he reckons, has made the game more interesting. �Any good side has a better chance of winning under the knockout and four-day structure. In last season�s final, Baroda emerged champions despite conceding a first-innings lead. �Domestic cricket has become more competitive. There is more aggression and fighting spirit on the field today,� he observed.

Ghavri, however, is not willing to compromise on discipline. �I will be very strict in this respect. No one will be spared. The very objective of my coaching will be to maintain discipline on and off the field.

�The players have to stay involved during the six-and-half hours of cricket. They have to remain focussed more than hundred percent,� was his stern warning. A note of caution for the Nihil Haldipurs and the Laxmi Ratan Shuklas!


Calcutta, July 5: 
Prasanta Banerjee�s coaching debut turned out to be a story of agony and frustration at the Mohun Bagan ground this afternoon.

The former India captain watched helplessly from the sidelines as his wards, donning Calcutta Port Trust shirts, blew chances aplenty to draw their CFL Super Division opener goalless with George Telegraph.

Back in the premier division after a year in group A, Port Trust looked a little rusty in the opening minutes. George, in fact, had the first crack at goal � a 25-yard dipping free-kick by medio Biman Mondal which was tipped over the crosspiece by Sandip Guha.

Port found their bearings midway through the first half and opened up the George defence time and again. In a spell lasting 50 minutes, on either side of half-time, Port created half-a-dozen sitters.

Pradip Indu, a prolific scorer last season, was the villain-in-chief for Port. He alone muffed three gilt-edged chances, one of which had to be seen to be believed. Latching on to a mispass from a George defender, Indu sped forward unchallenged but with only �keeper Shankar Dey to beat, hit the ball straight at his body.

Md. AC joy soured

Mohammedan AC won their group B match against Aikya Sammilani by the thinnest of margins, but their joy was soured by a second-half red card.

Ramesh Sana netted what turned out to be the only goal as early as in the sixth minute. Eight minutes after half-time, though, Mohammedan AC were reduced to 10 men as Sanjib Das was marched off in the 53rd minute for a rough tackle.

Bally Protiva also notched up a 1-0 win, at Bowbazar YM Union�s expense. Bappa Mukherjee struck the matchwinner.

Behala Youth and Police AC split points after a 0-0 draw.

Rangers duo, custodian Leon Nathaniel and Claudius Chow, were given marching orders in their fourth division match against Bhawanipur Club.

That happenened in the second session, but Rangers still managed to win 2-1.


Guwahati, July 5: 
The tiny Khumukcham Sanjoy Singh and Raju Loukrakpam share the lead with five points each at the end of the fifth round of The Telegraph Schools� Chess Championship being played at the ABITA indoor stadium.

Six-and-a-half-year-old Khumukcham of Kairang Primary School, Imphal, humbled eighth seed Twinkle Daulaguphu of Assam Valley School, Guwahati, in 35 moves of an irregular French set up. Raju of Thambaljao High School, Imphal, outmanoeuvred Jibananda Singha of MD English School, Imphal, in 40 moves of a Sicilian defence.

Opening moves saw Khumukcham struggle in a cramped position as white was two tempi ahead in development. With precise middlegame calculations, the Manipur boy exploited Twinkle�s inept pawn pushing in the latter part of the game. He captured Twinkle�s queen-rook pawn on the 21st move. Twinkle started to lose way and lost a piece on the 27th move when his rival directed a three-move combination.

Earlier, in the fourth round, Khumukcham made mincemeat of Nirmaljyoti Sarmah of Disneyland School, Guwahati, in the Stonewall pattern of the Queen-Pawn opening. The Manipur boy gave up his queen for opponent�s rooks. Khumukcham skilfully co-ordinated his minor pieces to wreak havoc on the chequered battle field.

On the top table, Chiranjit Saha of Umakanta Academy, Agartala, held fifth seed Trailokya Nanda of Edith Douglas School, Jorhat, to a draw in a hard-fought game in an exchange variation of the French defence. On the 59th move, they agreed to sign the peace treaty.

Gurumayum Inao Sharma of MKSMT High School, Imphal, employed the Robatsch defence to defeat Manash Hazarika of Happy Child High School, Guwahati, in just 20 moves. Gurumayum, Trailokya and Chiranjit are close on the leaders� heels with 4.5 points, whereas 13 players are trailing them on 4 points.

TOP TABLE RESULTS � Chiranjit Saha (4.5) drew Trailokya Nanda (4.5); Twinkle Daulaguphu (4) lost to Khumukcham Sanjoy Singh (5); Jibananda Singha (4) lost to Raju Loukrakpam (5); Manash Hazarika (3.5) lost to Gurumayum Inao Sharma (4.5); Malabika Singh (3.5) lost to Sashank Singh (4); Meghnath Rabha (4) bt Hemanga Gogoi (3); Jaising Engleng (3) lost to Sibananda Singha (4); Swaraj Buragohain (4) bt Rustom Raktim Dutta (3); Nirmaljyoti Sharma (4) bt Tibraraj Boruah (3); Shakespeare Lairengjam (3) lost to Abhinav Baruah (4); Omeshore Lairngam (3) lost to Abhibamtai Banga (4); Nameirakpam Scientist (4) bt Manoj Patar (3).


Calcutta, July 5: 
Viswanathan Anand is yet to touch the magic 2800 Elo rating mark. The latest Fide rating list shows the world champion ranked third in the world at 2794.

The Indian had 2790 in the list released in January. According to the list, Vladimir Kramnik has become the second man in history to cross the 2800 mark. He has 2802. Fellow Russian Garri Kasparov continues to top the list with 2838. He has lost 11 rating points since January.

The latest list shows a fall in ratings for young Indian GMs Krishnan Sasikiran and Abhijit Kunte. Sasikiran, who became the second Indian after Anand to cross 2600 in January, has fallen to 2589. Kunte lost 21 points to slip to 2547.

National A champion GM Dibyendu Barua gained five points to move up to 2499, while GM Pravin Thipsay maintained his rating of 2453.

G.B. Prakash, who needs to touch 2500 to secure the GM title after having collected three norms, made steady progress to reach 2480. He had 2453 in January. Surya Sekhar Ganguly has gained eight to move up to 2464.

Double GM norm holders P. Harikrishna and Sandipan Chanda have 2522 and 2427, respectively. While Harikrishna has gained eight points, Chanda has lost four. A dismal outing in Bangladesh after getting his second norm in the Goodricke meet here must have cost Chanda dear.

WGM S. Vijayalakshmi has lost 19 points to come down to 2397. Koneru Humpy, Indian�s second WGM, has earned a whopping 88 points. The 14-year-old has jumped to 2387.

Among other Bengal players, Neelotpal Das has dropped 44 points to fall back to 2379 but Subhrajit Saha (+14, 2357) and Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury (+57, 2354) have made good progress. Saheli Dhar Barua and Nisha Mohota have 2248 and 2236.

TOP 10 (overall) � 1. Garri Kasparov (Rus, 2838). 2. Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 2802). 3. Viswanathan Anand (Ind, 2794). 4. Alexander Morozevich (Rus, 2749). 5. Michael Adams (Eng, 2744). 6. Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr, 2731). 7. Peter Leko (Hun, 2730). 8. Evgeny Bareev (Rus, 2719). 9. Gata Kamsky (US, 2717). 10. Veselin Topalov (Bul, 2711).

TOP 1O INDIANS � 1. Viswanathan Anand (2794). 2. K. Sasikiran (2589). 3. Abhijit Kunte (2547). 4. P. Harikrishna (2522). 5. Dibyendu Barua (2499). 6. G.B. Prakash (2480). 7. Surya Sekhar Ganguly (2464). 8. Tejas Bakre (2462). 9. Praveen Thipsay (2453). 10. Nassir Wajih (2447).


Calcutta, July 5: 
The annual general meeting (AGM) of CAB will be held on July 30. The date was ratified by the CAB working committee today. This evening�s meeting also fixed the annual prize distribution function for July 28.

Inter-school table tennis

A total of 64 teams � 48 boys� and 16 girls� � will take part in the Patterson Memorial inter-school table tennis championships beginning tomorrow at Khudiram Anusilan Kendra. The individual events will feature over 200 boys and girls. Both the team and individual finals will be on Tuesday.

IFA rally now on Friday

IFA�s rally, to demand tubular structures at the three enclosed grounds, will now be held Thursday. Originally scheduled for Monday, it has been put back to give enough time for district affiliates.    

Calcutta, July 5: 
Aunshuman Gaekwad�s lawyer, K.Bhatt, has served a notice on the weekly which �twisted and distorted� the former India coach�s comments in its latest issue.

�The weekly has been asked to explain why my interview got distorted and has also been asked to apologise within seven days,� Gaekwad told The Telegraph from his Vadodara residence this evening.

Gaekwad added: �The notice, sent yesterday, ends by saying that action will be taken if the weekly doesn�t act within the stipulated period.� Clearly, the option of suing it is very much there.

The weekly, it may be recalled, has quoted Gaekwad as alleging the India players regularly used steroids and cortisones to enhance performance.


Calcutta, July 5: 
While punters rued, bookmakers laughed all the way in the six-event card ruled by outsiders today, the opening day of the monsoon season. Singh brothers, Vijay and Bharath, who were expercted to dominate the proceedings, did have their share of success, claiming three events between them, but with the lesser fancied winners. Favourites fell one after another and the biggest damage was caused by Vijay�s frindless winner Crucible in the Dorania Handicap.

The Bhishma Cup, the feature event, however, produced the speculated results, though the winner of the race, Lockers Park from Bharath�s yard, had failed to muster much support at 5-1. Endless Surprise, a 5-4 favourite trained by Daniel David, placed a poor fourth in the race. Bharath�s other winner, Aflicker, was also a 5-1 chance in the season�s opener, the Moth Handicap.


1. Moth Handicap 1,000m: (4-2-5-3) Aflicker (Islam) 1; Starina (Rutherford) 2; Flying Scot (Yasin) 3; Constantine (Kujur) 4. Won by: 3-1/4; 3; 4-3/4; (1-3.2). Tote: Win Rs 36; Place: 17; 10; Quinella: 15; Tanala: 243. Fav: Starina (2). Winner trained by Bharath S.

2. Fusebox Handicap 1,100m: (1-6-3-5) Adeline (C. Alford) 1; Armila (Engineer) 2; Floral Path (A. P. Singh) 3; Double Dancer (F. Khan) 4. Won by: 3-3/4; 1/2; 3-1/4; (1-12.6). Tote: Win Rs 34; Place: 16; 16; 21; Quinella: 72; Tanala: 526. Fav: Double Dancer (5). Winner trained by Daniel.

3. Dorania Handicap 1,200m: (5-2-3-6) Crucible (Brij) 1; Winning Hand (Gowli) 2; Aracruz (Rabani) 3; Magnifico (C. Alfrod) 4. Won by: 2-3/4; 1-1/4; Nk; (1-17.4). Tote: Win Rs 441; Place: 84; 12; 14; Quinella: 544; Tanala: 10,529. Fav: Winning Hand (2). Winner trained by Vijay S.

4. Bhishma Cup 1,100m: (6-4-2-5) Lockers Park (Rabani) 1; Sovereign Bullet (Tamang) 2; Aldebro (A. P. Singh) 3; Endless Surprise (C. Alford) 4. Won by: 3/4; Nk; 3-3/4; (1-11). Tote: Win Rs 54; Place: 25; 18; Quinella: 67; Tanala: 1,190. Fav: Endless Surprise (5). Winner trained by Bharath S.

5. Prince Lyon Cup 1,200m: (4-8-7-3) Russian Czar (Rutherford) 1; Just Kidding (P. Alford) 2; Aherlow (C. Alford) 3; Raaz (Haroon) 4. Won by: 6-1/4; 4-3/4; 1-3/4; (1-18.6). Tote: Win Rs 52; Place: 15; 128; 11; Quinella: 3,044; Tanala: 24,011. Fav: Aherlow (7). Winner trained by R. Alford.

6. Zifi Handicap 1,100m: (5-1-9-8) Secret Adversary (F. Khan) 1; Calamint (C. Alford) 2; Victoria Rose (Rabani) 3; Lively Project (B. Gurang) 4. Won by: 2; 5-1/2; 4-3/4; (1-12.6). Tote: Win Rs 63; Place: 16; 12; 22; Quinella: 28; Tanala: 429. Fav: Calamint (1). Winner trained by Daniel.

Jackpot: Rs 1,27,659 (Carried over); (C) Rs 10,942.

Treble: (i) Rs 3,679; (ii) Rs 2,675.

Calcutta, July 5: 
Almond Rock, Anokato and Regency Times were impressive when the following horses exercised today:

Outer sand track

1,200m: Remember Me (Rb) and The Stud (Gowli) in 1-31s; (400m) 27s. Both level and were easy.

800m: Beau Bruno (P. Kumar) in 1-2s; (400m) 30s. Almond Rock (Tamang) and Anokato (Saran) in 59s; (400m) 26s. They were level.

Sand track

1,200m: Added Asset (B. Gurang) in 1-34s; (400m) 31s.

800m: Iron Warrior (Rb) in 58s; (400m) 26s. Easy. Alborada (Tamang) in 55s; (400m) 25s. Fit. Madame X (Rb) in 1-2s; (400m) 26s. Easy. Lovely Duchess (Rb) in 58s; (400m) 26s. Aberdan (Tamang) in 56s; (400m) 25s. Was handy. Regency Times (F. Khan) in 54s; (400m) 26s. Note. Ashbury (P. Kumar) in 1-3s; (400m) 29s.

On Wednesday, Outer sand track

1,400m: The Stud (Rb) in 1-59s. Easy.

800m: Alkido (Rabani) and Queen�s Logic (Islam) in 58s; (400m) 29s. They were level and moved well. Nearco Prince (Rb) and Alvernia (Rb) in 1-1s; (400m) 29s. They were level. Tsaynen Blue (Gowli) in 1-2s; (400m) 30s. Flamebird (Gowli) in 1-1s; (400m) 29s. Staffordshire (Rb) in 1-2s; (400m) 31s. Flying Scot (Smith) in 1-1s; (400m) 27s. Easy.

Sand track

1,400m: No Regrets (Gowli) in 1-42; (400m) 29s. Moved well. Aliqa (Rb) in 1-50s; (400m) 28s. Super Smile (Rabani) in 1-51s; (400m) 31s. As A Rule (Smith) in 1-45s; (400m) 26s. Easy.

1,000m: Eau Savage (Shanker) in 1-15s; (400m) 27s. Easy. Lightning Speed (Smith) in 1-19s; (400m) 29s.

800m: Tequila Shot (Shanker) in 53s; (400m) 25s. Good. Global Harmony (G. Singh) in 57s; (400m) 27s. Sky Command (Bird) in 58s; (400m) 26s. Heaven�s Blessing (Shanker) in 59s; (400m) 28s. Azurica (Gowli) in 57s; (400m) 26s. Moved well. Reactor (Shanker) in 1-1s; (400m) 28s. Bul Bul (Haroon) in 1-4s; (400m) 30s. Gold Buck (Shanker) in 57s; (400m) 27s; Moved well. On The Bit (F. Khan) in 56s; (400m) 27s. Handy. Pure Passion (Rutherford) in 53s; (400m) 24s. Good. Grand Lodge (Bird) in 1-1s; (400m) 28s. Harry The Horse (Rutherford) in 54s; (400m) 24s. Was handy. Glass Slipper (K. Kumar) in 58s; (400m) 26s.    


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