BCCI must stand up for Sachin
Tolly push Md. Sp. to the brink
Malhotra in race for ACF
Inter-state lien
Bangalore Races/ Soviet Song claims main event
Bangalore Races/ Hello Brother expected to counter Appeaser's challenge
Calcutta Races/ Almond Rock impresses

Calcutta, July 21: 
Our cricketers� failure to set Kuala Lumpur on fire during the 1998 Commonwealth Games led the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to question the Sachin Tendulkar-led team�s commitment.

Amazingly, it was left to Sachin to defend both himself and his players. The job ought instead to have been done by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Cut to this Monday, when present captain Sourav Ganguly emphatically told the world that Sachin wasn�t feigning injury. He did so in Chennai, before emplaning for Sri Lanka.

Again, the BCCI should promptly have quashed suggestions in a section of the Media that reasons other than fitness influenced Sachin�s (initial) decision to stay away from much of the ongoing tri-series.

[Incidentally, former India captain Ravi Shastri did take note of what was being hinted at and, in his syndicated column, bluntly said: �... I have been amused and shocked at the kind of stuff that is being written...�]

It�s another matter that on Wednesday, a scan on Sachin�s right foot revealed a hairline fracture of the sesamoid bone. Till then, the injury was diagnosed as a bruise. Now, of course, Sachin is out of the entire tri-series.

Aware, perhaps, it�s best he himself set the record straight Sachin, in an unprecedented move, invited the Media to his (new) Mumbai residence for an update on his fitness.

Sachin�s first comments on his injury (prior to the scan) were, in fact, made to The Telegraph, wherein he revealed he was still in pain though the swelling had subsided. Also, that he required an hour of ultrasound each day.

Clearly distressed with the suggestion that �differences� with Sourav played a part in his not immediately being Lanka-bound, Sachin had observed: �The team is playing well as a unit and, within it, the players don�t have differences.

�Indeed, we get along so nicely and this healthy atmosphere shouldn�t be vitiated... Doing so won�t, in any way, help Indian cricket...�

In a different context, three years ago (after the IOA�s intemperate remarks), Sachin had boomed: �I don�t have to prove my commitment to anybody... The world has seen that for nine years... What counts is my own satisfaction.�

The point being made is simple: The BCCI, which remains the biggest beneficiary of Sachin�s phenomenal contribution, cares two hoots when the maestro is pushed to a sticky wicket.

Even if the BCCI was, in any case, engaged in a war of words with the IOA, in 1998, there can be no justification for its silence this time.

More so, as Sachin himself put it, team spirit could be harmed. Few teams, in recent years at least, have seen the camaraderie which exists in the current Indian side.

Besides being courageous in signing a coach from overseas, the BCCI has been working on some fronts � notably initiating a dialogue with the players on graded payments/contracts �but, really, it will also be judged on how it reacts to any attack on its numero uno performer.

The damage, already done, can�t be made good. However, one expects BCCI president A.C. Muthiah � who has been refreshingly different in tackling some issues � and his colleagues to learn from the latest episode.


Calcutta, July 21: 
Md. Sporting 0

For the first 45 minutes, Tollygunge Agragami were their own enemy as they struggled for rhythm. That was quite a flop-show by Amal Dutta�s well-set team, for they were up against 11 players who were at Salt Lake Stadium just to make up the numbers and give it a name (read: Mohammedan Sporting).

Tollygunge Agragami woke up from their mid-afternoon siesta early in the second session and did what matters most. Shasthi Duley�s crisp left-footer found the mark after an Aziola Aderai push had ricocheted off a forest of legs in the Mohammedan Sporting citadel.

That was in the 56th minute. The remainder of the insipid match saw Tollygunge squander four chances, Moses Owira alone being the culprit on three occasions.

This was Tollygunge�s third win in as many matches, but surely their most lackadaisical performance. But that was hardly the talking point at Salt Lake Stadium today. Team Mohammedan Sporting was.

In the decline for close to a decade, Mohammedan Sporting circa 2001 is a cross-country cocktail of anonymous amateurs. A few boys from Orissa, some from Bihar, Assam, Hyderabad, and one from Darjeeling have been brought over to the city and handed over the once revered black-and-white shirts. The consequence is predictable: pathetic football.

What hit the eye was their woeful lack of basic knowledge. The trapping was seldom copybook, the tendency to control aerial balls with the hand occurred once too often and frontliners made the mistake of stopping dead on their tracks without bothering to check whether the assistant referee�s flag was up for off-side.

The only one who distinguished himself to some extent was goalkeeper Imran Khan, an import from Cuttack. Twice in each half, the man under the Mohammedan Sporting bar reacted in time to thwart Tollygunge players with dangerous intentions.

His counterpart Sandip Nandy, in contrast, was tested just once. Five minutes before half-time, the Tollygunge custodian misread a Kabi Sarkar centre and was beaten to the ball by Prasenjit Pal. Fortunately for Nandy, the header was off target.

Their second defeat in three matches sent alarm bells ringing among the die-hard Mohammedan Sporting fans. Sack the secretary, they chanted after the match, wondering aloud whether the team will survive relegation this season.

A perfectly legitimate doubt that.


TOLLYGUNGE AGRAGAMI: Sandip Nandy, Reazul Mustafa, Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, Partha Sarathi Dey, Amitava Chanda, Sandip Das, Mehtab Hussain, Shasthi Duley, Khemtang Paite (Nazimul Haque, 43), Moses Owira, Aziola Aderai (Srikrishna Ghosh, 68).

MOHAMMEDAN SPORTING: Imran Khan, Kabi Sarkar, Lusku Murmu, Insan Ali, Ranjan Bhattacharya (Zulfiqar Ali, 18), Arunava Sarkar, Debu Pradhan, Prasenjit Pal, Ali Reza (Bimal Thapa, 63), Ohidul Islam (Gautam Sharma, 73), Amjad Hussain.

Referee: Udayan Haldar.


Calcutta, July 21: 
National selector Ashok Malhotra is among four former Test players the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has nominated for the post of development officer of the Asian Cricket Foundation (ACF).

The others in the race are another India selector S. Madanlal, Roger Binny and W.V. Raman.

The ACF will meet in the city on July 31 and August 1 to finalise the panel of development officers.

CAB elections

The ruling group today finalised its candidates for CAB office-bearers. Debabrata Bhattacharya is their choice for the fourth vice-president�s post. The three others � Amulya Ratan Saha, Ambika Banerjee and Dipal Chowdhury � are yet to serve out their term.

Bablu Koley and Sudhir Chakraborty will be candidates for the two joint secretary�s chairs, while Jagmohan Dalmiya will remain president.

Tomorrow is the last day for filing nominations. Elections, if necessary, will be held Saturday when the annual general meeting of the CAB is scheduled.

Bula�s new ventures

Two-time English Channel conqueror Bula Chowdhury will leave Monday for Switzerland to take part in the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Schwimmen, a 26.4 km event from Rapperswil to Zurich on July 29.

That will be followed by a swim in the Tyrrhenian Sea across Italy next month. The Ponza Island to San Felice Circeo stretch covers 38 km.

Sahara India and the state government are providing financial assistance to the Arjuna Award-winning swimmer.

Junior India TT teams

Eight Indian boys and ten girls will take part in the Taiwuan International Open junior table tennis meet in China from August 25 to 30. The players will attend a camp in China prior to the tournament. Tapan Chandra will accompany the squad as coach.


BOYS: Aditya Magaonkar, Sourav Chakraborty, Arunava Ganguly, Shubhadip Das, Omkar Targaokar, Dinesh Karia, Aman Balgu, Varun Jindal.

GIRLS: Susmita Ray, Nandita Saha, Shinjini Mitra, Madhurika Patekar, Munmun Basak, S. Sangeetha, Pallabi Kundu, Shikha Sharma, Neha Agarwal, Pratima Sayal. Coach: Tapan Chandra.

Inter-state lien

The AIFF has accepted IFA�s proposal to allow two players on lien from different states.

This will pave the way for teams like Mohun Bagan or East Bengal to bring on lien two players from, say, Goa and Kerala for the league. Provided, of course, the players are cleared by their respective clubs and state associations.


Calcutta, July 21: 
The AIFF has accepted IFA�s proposal to allow two players on lien from different states.

This will pave the way for teams like Mohun Bagan or East Bengal to bring on lien two players from, say, Goa and Kerala for the league. Provided, of course, the players are cleared by their respective clubs and state associations.


Bangalore, July 21: 
The Darius Byramji-trained filly Soviet Song had the measure of Resist The Force to win the S. M. Ramakrishna Rao Memorial Cup at the Bangalore races held on Saturday. Pesi Shroff partnered the Bold Russian-Palace Music four-year-old daughter


(With inter-state dividends)
1. Chaitanya Chakram Plate 1,200m: (5-6-7) Top The Star (Prak-ash) 1; Rush 2; April Ace 3. Won by: 2-1/4; 2-1/4; (1-16.1). Tote: Win Rs 13; Place: 10; 15; 20; Quinella: 27; Tanala: 77. Fav: Top The Star(5).
2. Parsiana Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (5-7-1) Oscar (Hesnain) 1; Omni Presence 2; Cape Fear 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 3-1/4; (1-17.1). Tote: Win Rs 78; Place: 24; 18; 22; Quinella: 96; Tan-ala: 1,470. Fav: Queen Sceptre (3).
3. Highclere Stud Plate 1,400m: (2-6-9) Almost Heaven (Appu) 1; Augill Castle 2; Tresorie 3. Won by: Hd; 1-3/4; (1-27.9). Tote: Win Rs 173; Place: 34; 14; 14; Quinella: 254; Tanala: 2,219. Fav: Tresorie (9).
4. S. M. Ramakrishna Rao Memorial Cup 1,200m: (6-9-7) Soviet Song (Shroff) 1; Resist The Force 2; Allabreva 3. Won by: 3/4; 1-1/4; (1-14.1). Tote: Win Rs 23; Place: 15; 19; 25; Quinella: 49; Tanala: 522. Fav: Soviet Song (6).
5. Arkavathi Silver Vase 1,200m: (3-5-4) Winning Charm (Rajesh) 1; Exs-tream 2; Decision Maker 3. Won by: 1/2; 1-1/4; (1-17). Tote: Win Rs 40; Place: 17; 21; 27; Quinella: 69; Tan-ala: 627. Fav: Winning Charm (3).
6. V. G. Saravanam Memorial Cup 2,200m: (2-6-5) Appleby (Kader) 1; Tapatio 2; Star Splendour 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 1/2; (2-26.7). Tote: Win Rs 19; Place: 17; 19; Quinella: 36; Tanala: 136. Fav: Appleby (2).
7. Parsiana Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (2-1-6) Another Crown (Shukla) 1; Zoracia 2; Star Blitz 3. Won by: 2-1/4; 3-1/4; (1-17.4). Tote: Win Rs 37; Place: 15; 21; 23; Quinella: 67; Tanala: 542. Fav: Zoracia (1).
Jackpot: Rs 5,612; (C) Rs 574.
Treble: (i) Rs 3,081; (ii) Rs 145.

Bangalore, July 21: 
Going by their runs in the Turf Invitation Cup and in the recent Maharaja�s Cup, its going to be a straight contest between Appeaser and Hello Brother in the 2,800m Bangalore St. Leger, a terms race for four-year-old horses, which takes the top-spot in tomorrow�s seven-event card. Both horses are in the pink of condition thus making it difficult to choose from between the two. While the Madhav Mangalorkar trained Hello Brother finished ahead of the Rashid Byramji-trainee in the Invitation Cup, it was Appeaser who found himself in front of the former after causing him a check in the last 100m. Taking all the pros and cons into consideration, the one who is tipped to pick up his first classic is Hello Brother. Shakti Singh partners the Young Senor-One Up gelding.


2.30 pm: My Treasure 1. Actuate 2. Vikramaditya 3.
3 pm: Carnival Crown 1. Daiimio 2. Skeena 3.
3.30 pm: Ivory Wings 1. Peace Desire 2. Crystal Delight 3.
4 pm: Hello Brother 1. Appeaser 2. Anagram 3.
4.30 pm: Deep In The Jungle 1. Tudor King 2. Alisa 3.
5 pm: Strides of Fire 1. Assertive Allies 2. Donna Mia 3.
5.30 pm: Crystal Goblet 1. Adelante 2. Anandini 3.
Day�s Best: Strides of Fire
Double: My Treasure & Ivory Wings

Calcutta, July 21: 
Almond Rock was impressive from among the following horses worked today:

Outer sand track

1,600m: Alvarada (A. P. Singh) 2-3s; (400m) 30s. Fit.
1,400m: Angeles (A. P. Singh) in 1-56s; (400m) 33s. Easy.
1,200m: Annatto (Rb) 1-31s; (400m) 28s. Easy. Victory Waltz (A. P. Singh) in 1-30s; (400m) 30s. Fit.
800m: Automatic (A. P. Singh) in 1-2s; (400m) 31s. Merano (Rb) in 1-2s; (400m) 30s. American (Kujur) in 1-3s; (400m) 29s. Set Aside (Som S.) in 55s; (400m) 27s. Good. Aldridge (Gajinder) in 1-2s; (400m) 30s.
600m: Lady Shirley (Rb) and Adorer (Som S.) in 44s; (400m) 29s.They were level.
400m: Wandering Warrior (Som S.) in 28s.

Monsoon track

1,200m: Clarice Cliff (Islam) in 1-23s; (400m) 25s. Good.
1,000m: Eau Savage (G. Singh) and Jeypore (Shanker) in 1-13s; (400m) 26s. They were level and they worked well.
800m: Heaven�s Blessing (Shanker) in 54s; (400m) 25s. Easy. Staffordshire (Upadhya) in 56s; (400m) 26s. Easy. Santillana (B. Gurang) in 55s; (400m) 25s. Fit. Aureate (Kujur) in 56s; (400m) 25s. Gold Buck (Sha-nker) in 54s; (400m) 25s. Good. Almond Rock (B. Gurang) in 53s; (400m) 25s. Note. Highland Flame (Kujur) in 54s; (400m) 25s. Fit. Regency Times (Yasin) in 52s; (400m) 24s. Fit. Aberdan (F. Khan) in 55s; (400m) 26s. Easy. Ace Of Spades (B. Gurang) in 54s; (400m) 26s. Fit. Rich Dominion (Yasin) and Grecian Prince (B. Gurang) in 56s; (400m) 23s. Former was a length better.
600m: Bird�s Empire (B. Gurang) and Maid To Measure (P. Kumar) in 40s; (400m) in 24s. They were level.
400m: Iron Warrior (Rb) in 26s.

Sand track

800m: Key Witness (P. Kumar) in 53s; (400m) 24s. Note. Addab (Bird) in 53s; (400m) 24s. Note. Hoyo Hoyo (Gajinder) in 58s; (400m) 27s. Sky Command (Bird) in 1-0s; (400m) 26s. As A Rule (Smith) in 57s; (400m) 26s. Double Dancer (Gowli) in 57s; (400m) 28s. Fincai (Rb) in 53s; (400m) 25s. Note. Rare Gold (Gajinder) in 1-0s; (400m) 26s. Pneumatic Power (Yasin) and Scavenger�s Son (P. Kumar) in 53s; (400m) 25s. Former 4 lengths better. Russian Czar (Rutherford) in 51s; (400m) 23s. Note. Lovely Duch-ess (P. Alford) in 1-1s; (400m) 29s. Crest Star (Yasin) in 56s; (400m) 27s.

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