BCCI goes on frontfoot
Laurels for kids
Anushree sails into final
Maharaja’s Cup/ Upset win for Endorsement

Calcutta, July 8: 
After quietly toying with the idea, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has, for now, decided against asking the captain and coach to only brief the selectors before selection meetings and not actually be present during deliberations.

Had the idea been put into the implementation-mode, tomorrow’s Sri Lanka-specific meeting in Mumbai would have seen controversial history being created. Directly affected would have been Sourav Ganguly (who turned 29 today) and John Wright. It’s another matter that Wright will, perhaps, not be present as he was to head for the UK on a short visit from Harare itself.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, the idea of ‘clipping’ the captain and coach’s wings was mooted during and after the last selection meeting (for the just-ended tri-series), in Mumbai, last month. Significantly, both Sourav and Wright weren’t around as the deliberations took place while the Test series in Zimbabwe was on.

Apparently, the idea came to be discussed after chief selector Chandu Borde spoke to a very senior BCCI official about being allowed to “function independently.” What probably took the shape of the proverbial last straw (for Borde) was Sourav’s “insistence” — futile as it turned out — that Yuvraj Singh be picked for the last tri-series.

That Sourav has in the past, too, pitched strongly for Yuvraj only seems to have helped Borde’s ‘cause’. In any case, nobody in the BCCI is ever very comfortable with a dominating captain. Sourav is one such.

Sources revealed that for now BCCI secretary Jaywant Lele, who convenes selection meetings, will merely “convey the message” where the captain and coach are concerned. It is expected to be in the form of: “Don’t pressurise and interfere with the selectors’ functioning.”

Should this “message” not be heeded, the BCCI may eventually resort to formally asking the captain and coach to “withdraw” from the meetings after briefing the selectors. They will, however, be available in an adjacent room should their views be necessary at some point during the deliberations.

As per convention, both the captain and coach are co-opted members of the selection committee and don’t enjoy a vote. The five selectors, in fact, have six votes — the sixth being the casting one which is exclusively the chief selector’s prerogative.

Ideally, the captain and coach must also enjoy voting rights.

Meanwhile, there is talk that Rahul Sanghvi and Sunil Joshi, southpaws both, are in contention for the second spinner’s berth. After all, it’s possible one of the five quicks — Ajit Agarkar is a strong candidate — from the Zimbabwe squad will be dropped, and an additional spinner accommodated.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether Sourav will again press for Yuvraj, probably at Dinesh Mongia’s expense.

Tomorrow, the selectors will pick XIV for the July 18 to August 4 tri-series. The XV-strong Test squad will be chosen later.


Guwahati, July 8: 
The curtains were rung down on the Guwahati leg of The Telegraph Schools’ Chess championship here at a simple but impressive function at the Don Bosco auditorium here this evening.

Chief guest Navakanta Barua, noted poet and novelist, presented little Manipur boy Kumukcham Sanjoy Singh of Kairang Primary High School, Imphal the winner’s trophy. Sashank Singh received the runner-up trophy.

This year, too, the Best School trophy went to Disneyland School, Guwahati. Nirmaljyoti Sharma, Suranjana Talukdar, her brother Ranjan Talukdar and Neelkant Shastry chalked up 22.5 points for the school.

Jimli Barua of Holy Child School got the best girl player prize.


3. Nandan Buragohain (Nazira Higher Secondary School, Nazira). 4. Chiranjit Saha (Umakant Academy). 5. Jibananda Singha (Md English School, Silchar). 6. Omeshore Lairngam (Adim Jati Little Englsih School, Imphal). 7. Manoj Patar (Kaziranga National Park High School). 8. Punit Rajmohan (Maharishi Vidya Mandir, Guwahati). 9. Gurumayum Inao Sharma (MKSMT High School, Imphal). 10. Twinkle Daulaguphu (Assam Valley School, Tezpur).

Besides the trophies and cash prizes, there were gift hampers from Nippo, Coca Cola, IT Kids and Fourth Computer Learning Centre, Guwahati.


Calcutta, July 8: 
Anushree Saha will meet Sayantika Kundu in the girls’ singles final of the 61st Central Calcutta table tennis (stage I ranking) championships.

In the semis at YMCA Chowringhee today, Anushree breezed past Soumi Mondal 21-12, 21-13, 21-6. Sayantika, on the other hand, had to rally from a one-game deficit to defeat Nabanita Bose 16-21, 21-10, 21-18, 21-16. Sayantika capitalised on Nabanita’s weak backhand to clinch a final berth.

Nabanita tried to engage Sayantika in long rallies to upset her rhythm but Sayantika kept her cool to grab the initiative with solid smashes to her backhand.

RESULTS (All semi-finals)

Boys: Niloy Basak bt Abhijit Pal 21-17, 21-16, 21-18; Sourav Pradhan bt Jayanta Sarkar 21-12, 23-21, 21-16.

Girls: Anushree Saha bt Soumi Mondal 21-12, 21-13, 21-6; Sayantika Kundu bt Nabanita Bose 16-21, 21-10, 21-18, 21-16.

Sub-jr girls: Nabanita Bose bt Ahana Pal 21-23, 21-16, 21-9, 21-9; Soumi Mondal bt Sweta Mondal 21-9, 21-18, 21-16.

Sub-jr boys: Soumyajit Sarkar bt Kankajit Mondal 21-23, 21-13, 19-21, 21-18, 21-9; Sourav Ghosh bt Jayanta Sarkar 21-11, 15-21, 21-16, 21-12.

Women: Minu Basak bt Chandrani Dey 24-22, 25-23, 16-21, 19-21, 21-17; Manisha Chakraborty bt Rajarshi Shah 21-18, 17-21, 16-21, 21-17, 21-15.

Inter-school meet

St Thomas Church School, Howrah, will meet BKP Girls’ HS, North 24 Parganas, in the final of the Patterson inter-school table tennis meet. In the semis today, St Thomas got past Better School 3-1 while BKP Girls blanked Lalbagan Balika Vidyalaya 3-0.

In boys’ semis, Konnagar HS routed Haryana Vidyamandir 3-0, while Manicktala HS beat Kotrang Bhupendra Smriti HS 3-2.


Bangalore, July 8: 
The Michael Eshwer-trained four-year-old filly Endorsemen posted an upset victory in the Maharaja’s Cup at the Bangalore races held on Sunday. C. Ruzaan partnered the Placerville-Princess Clemente daughter to victory


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Young Rajput Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (3-9-1) Native Red (Appu) 1; Abroach 2; Golden Gift 3. Won by: Dist; 2-1/4; (1-15.7). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 12; 44; 18; Quinella: 155; Tanala: 1,058. Fav: Native Red (3).

2. Pune Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (10-3-8) Silver Spring (N. Pandey) 1; Lake Baikal 2; Royal Satsuma 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 2-1/4; (1-30.3). Tote: Win Rs 1,641; Place: 131; 23; 39; Quinella: 2,401; Tanala: 48,876. Fav: Sinatra (1).

3. Young Rajput Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (12-1-9) Pristine Beauty (Rajesh) 1; Swinging Conquest 2; Little Genny 3. Won by: 1-1/4; Nk; (1-15.7). Tote:Win Rs 46; Place: 17; 238; 59; Quinella: 5,957; Tanala: 76,052. Fav: Different Ballgame (7).

4. Pune Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (4-8-9) Rock Party (S. N. Babu) 1; Guide 2; Goebbels 3. Won: Nk; 2-1/4; (1-31.1). Tote: Win Rs 46; Place: 18; 32; 17; Quinella: 413; Tanala: 1,846. Fav: Goebbels (9).

5. R. Shamlan Memorial Plate, Div-I 1,600m: (6-5-1) Acceptor (R. Marshall) 1; Carnival Craze 2; Sendawar 3. Not run: Dee Emm (8). Won by: 1-1/4; 2; (1-42). Tote: Win Rs 32; Place: 12; 26; 21; Quinella: 184; Tanala: 1,876. Fav: Acceptor (6).

6. Maharaja’s Cup 2,200m: (16-1-4) Endorsement (Ruzaan) 1; Alameda 2; Appeaser 3. Won by: 3-1/2; 1/2; (2-19.6). Tote: Win Rs 147; Place: 35; 83; 24; Quinella: 4,113; Tanala: 84,600 (C.o). Fav: Perceived Value (5).

7. Brig. R. C. R. Hill Memorial Cup 1,400m: (10-4-2) Saujas (Rajesh) 1; Atomic Fusion 2; Akasaka 3. Won by: 1-1/2; 1/2; (1-30). Tote: Win Rs 49; Place: 17; 24; 111; Quinella: 102; Tanala: 6,992. Fav: Priceless Ally (1).

8. Kodagu Trophy 1,400m: (8-4-1) Touch of Silver (Prakash) 1; Street Smart 2; Prowl 3. Won by: 7; 3/4; (1-28.6). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 13; 18; 19; Quinella: 54; Tanala: 289. Fav: Touch of Silver (8).

9. R. Shamlan Memorial Plate, Div-II 1,600m: (2-6-1) Trivia (Shafiq) 1; Our Ambition 2; Kingston Heath 3. Won by: 2-1/2; 3/4; (1-41.4). Tote: Win Rs 95; Place: 17; 13; 27; Quinella: 165; Tanala: 2,134. Fav: Our Ambition (6).

Jackpot: Rs 57,827; (C) Rs 1,917.

Treble: (i) Rs 51,130 (Carried over); (ii) Rs 5,489; (iii) Rs 2,006.

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