Dalmiya moves into position of strength
Rival camps target Malhotra, Sekar
East Bengal massacre Md. Sp. to top group
Muktijoddha beat India colts 1-0
Mitil pulls out, Subhajit crashes
Police, Md. AC in group A
Bordoloi Trophy kicks off today
Arora advances
Calcutta Derby Trial/ Alamito may come good
Pune Racing/ Knighted for Her Majesty Trophy

Chennai, Sept. 28: 
Elections in these parts usually see amazingly one-sided verdicts: It�s the swing-influence. The morrow, though, will see an election with a difference. And, clearly, the outcome will see anything but an overwhelming sweep for either the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president A.C. Muthiah or challenger Jagmohan Dalmiya.

Dalmiya�s bid received a terrific boost tonight when 17 units attended his dinner at the Willingdon in the Taj. The units are: Delhi, Haryana (North); Andhra, Goa, Hyderabad, Karnataka, Kerala (South); Bengal, NCC, Orissa, Tripura (East); Baroda, Gujarat (West); MP, Railways, Rajasthan, UP (Central).

Having helped install three presidents in-a-row � Inderjit Singh Bindra, Raj Singh Dungarpur and Muthiah himself � Dalmiya is an old hand in the �politics� of elections. This alone gives him an edge, but should some stab him in the back and all three institutional (Services, Railways and Universities) votes go to Muthiah, he could be in for a shock.

While a very influential Union minister is lobbying for Dalmiya, many in New Delhi�s corridors of power aren�t favourably disposed towards him. The million-Rupee question is: Will the government actively get involved, during the AGM, to keep Dalmiya out? Probably not.

Actually, a formal election for the president may not be necessary as a (forced) change in the agenda � thanks to a Jharkhand High Court ruling this afternoon � whereby the house first determines whether Bihar�s seat is taken by the undivided Bihar Cricket Association (BCA) or the newly-formed Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), will reveal who commands a majority.

Significantly, the Court has also held both can be kept out of the AGM (at the Taj Coromandel, from 10.30 am) in the event of a �serious dispute.�

The BCA, with Sanjay Singh as its representative, is pro-Dalmiya, while the Laloo Prasad Yadav-led CAB has thrown its weight behind Muthiah. Till today�s ruling, in Ranchi, Singh was to have represented Bihar � even though Muthiah unilaterally �recognised� Laloo�s body (mistakenly also referred to as Bihar Cricket Association in these columns) during last month�s working committee meeting in Mumbai.

While Bihar�s status is clear to the extent it can be, there is still confusion over Jammu & Kashmir (Dalmiya�s group) and Goa (expected to vote for Dalmiya). Internal wrangling within the J&K association has clouded its participation, while Muthiah�s camp is bent on �penalising� Goa for appalling mismanagement during the Margao one-dayer in April. It is understood, however, that Goa can�t be barred from voting.

Frankly, it�s a shame that instead of focussing on cricket, in the run-in to the AGM, both sides have been busy taking legal opinion and leaving nothing unturned in their push to �break� the opposition�s strength. Sports body elections ought never to have a political flavour, yet the involvement of politicians isn�t at a premium: Union ministers present and past, chief ministers past and present, Members of Parliament... Even the son of a high-profile governor.

Of course, politicians have been involved in the past, but that�s hardly a comforting thought.

Incidentally, if Laloo�s CAB gets the nod, he won�t be the solitary former chief minister attending the AGM � assuming, he turns up in person. Present, too, will be Mumbai�s Sharad Pawar, who is on Muthiah�s side. Briefly, there was talk that Pawar could step in as a compromise candidate, but no settlement can now be reached.

�A compromise can be talked about at the starting line, not the finishing post,� a supremely confident Dalmiya told The Telegraph.

Talking exclusively, Muthiah admitted �matters had gone beyond the stage of compromise.� Though Muthiah is just as confident, he didn�t predict the voting pattern (30 affiliated units, including the undivided BCA, and the president�s own vote). Rather, he remarked: �In a democratic process, anything can happen.�

Smiling, Muthiah clarified that strictly speaking he isn�t contesting as is being made out. He put it thus: �So many predecessors have got the third year... What wrong have I done to be denied that? Somebody else is contesting; I�m merely looking at year No. 3...� Indeed, Muthiah will be remembered for the tough stand on banning players suspected to have been in league with bookies.

According to the BCCI�s Memorandum and Rules and Regulations, which serves as its constitution, the discretion to grant a third year rests with the general body. The late S.K. Wankhede, in the early Eighties, and B.N. Dutt, in 1990, are the only presidents (in recent memory, at least) to be forced out after two years.

In fact, Muthiah wasn�t amused when one of his predecessors, Dalmiya-backer Purshottam Rungta, walked up to him in the Taj lobby and �cautioned� against being �misled� by the Bindras and Raj Singhs. This one-on-one lasted five minutes, with Rungta doing most of the talking. The Dalmiya group claims the support of �at least 17 units�. That is more than a simple majority.

Neither Dalmiya nor Muthiah gave a direct reply as to why the two have fallen apart. But Dalmiya insisted a general fall in the BCCI�s stock, as also the �lack of communication� between the president and other office-bearers, are factors which prompted him to challenge Muthiah instead of waiting till next year when, by rotation, East would (in any case) nominate the president.

Having already served as president of the International Cricket Council (1997-2000), getting the BCCI presidentship surely won�t be the most prominent feather in Dalmiya�s cap.

While Dalmiya�s group is quick to emphasise that Muthiah only has his home association (Tamil Nadu) backing him from South, the Muthiah camp is pleased (as of now) at having pulled off a coup in Assam. An Assam office-bearer did attend Muthiah�s campaign-dinner in New Delhi the other day, but Dalmiya�s group has reportedly got association president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta to authorise another gentleman to vote. So...

Meanwhile, BCCI secretary Jaywant Lele has come armed with a copy of the Baroda Cricket Association resolution empowering him to represent the body at the AGM. It appears his own crisis, for now, is over.

Lele, joint-secretary Jyoti Bajpai and treasurer Kishore Rungta will remain in office should Dalmiya (as seems likely) occupy Indian cricket�s top position. The current vice-presidents, too. However, it will be different if Muthiah manages to hold off the Dalmiya challenge. Niranjan Shah, Mohinder Pandove and Dhyaneshwar Chand Agashe may then take the positions held by Lele, Bajpai and Rungta, respectively.

The 1997 AGM in Chennai led to an unprecedented adjournment. That won�t be repeated, but this one should be just as dramatic. The loser, by the way, stands to lose more than just his face.


Chennai, Sept. 28: 
With the pre-AGM give-and-take in the Board being confined to the �top levels,� neither the A. C. Muthiah camp nor the Jagmohan Dalmiya group has paid much attention to the all-important senior selection committee. Till late this evening, �no serious thought� had been given.

However, according to The Telegraph�s sources, both sides have decided to target the selector seen as being hand-picked by either Dalmiya or Muthiah. Specifically, then, in the firing line (so to say) are East�s Ashok Malhotra and South�s T. A. Sekar. Hardly cricket, this, but the Board-cookie crumbles very differently.

As Dalmiya is growing stronger, in the fight for the Board presidency, Malhotra isn�t as threatened as Sekar. Indications are a Karnataka nominee will replace Sekar. Syed Kirmani�s name has been doing the rounds � first reported in these columns almost two months ago � but Brijesh Patel may himself choose to come on board.

Set to be replaced, irrespective of who wins, is chairman Chandu Borde (West). Muthiah�s preferred choice is Dilip Vengsarkar, while Dalmiya has an �open mind.� Absolutely safe, strictly going by the body-language of all concerned, are Madanlal (North) and Sanjay Jagdale (Central).

At a stretch, a selector can have a maximum of four years. That way, Malhotra and Madanlal have 12 months to go, while Jagdale only got appointed last year. Actually, even Sekar�s term is far from over.


Calcutta, Sept. 28: 
East Bengal 5
Md. Sporting 1

Defending champions East Bengal made a mockery of Mohammedan Sporting�s existence, slapping on them a 5-1 humiliation in a group A match of the 107th IFA Shield at Salt Lake Stadium today.

Jo Paul Ancheri opened the floodgates in the 25th minute before Isiaka Awoyemi, Suley Musah, Chandan Das and I.M. Vijayan scored one apiece to round off the tally � the biggest margin of victory so far in the tournament. Lawrence Enyilort netted the reducer for the black-and-white jerseys.

East Bengal, who routed Tollygunge Agragami 4-1 earlier, topped the group and will meet either Mohun Bagan or FC Kochin in the quarter finals.

Mohammedan Sporting were without a coach and their presence looked so outlandish that their battle of survival was reduced to the job of an onlooker. It became murkier when Ohidul Islam invited the red card minutes before the breather for kicking Jackson Egygpong.

Fed on a Dipankar Roy through, Ancheri broke free and proceeded towards the right-end corner of the box. Custodian Imran Khan left a gap between him and the left post, but that was enough for the former India captain to place in his powerful left-footer from an acute angle.

The second goal came 11 minutes later. Ancheri sent in a cross inside the box and Isiaka headed home from close. There was no stopping East Bengal with the change of ends and within two minutes, Musah�s pile-driver from 20 yards out made it 3-0. Chandan found the target in the 64th minute. The medio got hold of an Omolaja lob inside the box, beating the off-side trap, and coolly placed the ball in.

Mohammedan Sporting scored an 80th-minute consolation through Lawrence. But Vijayan, who replaced Ancheri, joined the spree five minutes from time when he headed home an Isiaka centre.


EAST BENGAL: Hemanta Dora; Suley Musah, Jackson Egygpong, Dipak Mondal, Falguni Dutta; Isiaka Awoyemi, Tushar Rakshit (Chandan Das, 62), Anit Ghosh, Dipankar Roy; Omolaja Olalekan, Jo Paul Ancheri (I.M. Vijayan, 67).

MOHAMMEDAN SPORTING: Imran Khan (Arijit Sengupta, 53); Sarwar Ali (Amit Dutta, 40), Insan Ali, Aslam Pervez, Bablu Mohammed, Ali Reza, Ohidul Islam, Alauddin Rahman (Seturaman, 68), Mohammed Rafiq, Amzad Hossain, Lawrence Enyilort.

Referee: Mrinal Kanti Roy.


Calcutta, Sept. 28: 
Muktijoddha Sansad beat India Under-19 1-0 to top the group C of the IFA Shield at the Mohun Bagan ground today. Emeka Achilefu scored the matchwinner in the first half.

The Bangladesh club earned a flag-kick to the right in the 43rd minute. The Nazrov Yorkin shot went to Ariful Kabir Farhad who relayed to the box where Emeka outjumped the challenge to head in from close.

The likely quarter final line-up is: Muktijoddha versus TFA and Nam Dinh (who came second in group C) versus Palmeiras.

Muktijoddha could have extended their lead, but Emeka missed a sitter from similar position in the 19th minute of the second session. The India colts hardly made it to the rival box, doing midfield battles mostly.


MUKTIJODDHA: Aminul Haque; Hassan Al Mamun, Abu Faisal Ahmed (Pradip Kumar Poddar, 62), Abdul Salu, Rajoni Kanta Barman, Motiur Rahman Munna, Nazrov Yorkin, Zulfiker Mamud, Raqib Hossain, Ariful Kabir Farhad (Abdul Kayum, 78), Emeka Achilefu (Mijanur Rahman Don, 88).

INDIA UNDER-19: Milagro Medeira; Harjeet Singh, Wallamdi Passah, Anupam Sarkar (Rajib Ahmed, 79), Lakhan Singh, Abdul Rouf Khan (Marlanki Sutang, 59), Micky Fernandez, Shiva Dutta Roni, S. James Singh, Lalbhulaiya (Joyful Houzel, 67).

Referee: Supriya Bhattacharya.


Jamshedpur, Sept. 28: 
Defending champion Mitil Chakaborty�s team was among the five which pulled out of the Telegraph Maruti Esteem Monsoon Rally today.

The radiator of Chakraborty and navigator Bhavesh Dhabaria�s Esteem burst on way to here from Calcutta where the rally was flagged off this morning. The final leg, from here to Ranchi, will take place tomorrow.

Other �casualties� in the four-wheeler section were Subhajit Kumar-Ashoke Bhattacharya, Santanu Ganguly-Gulruk Ganguly and Saswati Nag Chowdhury-Subhas Nag Chowdhury. They were all driving Esteems. Kumar�s car lost a tyre and rammed into a tree. The driver and navigator escaped serious injury.


Calcutta, Sept. 28: 
Police AC and Mohammedan AC today entered the final of the IFA league first division Group B, and have now been promoted to group A next season.

In the championship play-off semi-finals, Police AC beat Garalgacha SC 1-0, while Md. AC scraped past Aikya Samiilani 5-4 via a tie-breaker. The latter�s match ended 1-1 after regulation.


Guwahati, Sept. 28: 
The golden jubilee edition of the Bordoloi Trophy kicks off tomorrow with local teams City Police and FCI Sports Club locking horns.

The 21-team field comprises two foreign outfits � Rajpracha FC of Thailand and Muktijoddha of Bangladesh. Leading the Indian challenge will be Mohun Bagan, TFA and FC Kochin.

Matches will be in knockout format till the pre-quarters. Then, two quarter final groups will be formed from which four teams will advance to the semis. Floodlights have been installed at the Nehru Stadium and matches from the quarters will be under lights.


Calcutta, Sept 28: 
Pradeep Arora became the first city boy to reach the finals of ColorPlus national bowling championships, winning the city leg of the meet at Nicco Super Bowl today.

He scored 2696 points with an average of 192.57.

Mahesh Gaud of Hyderabad, Sanjay Godhwani of Delhi and Kanpur�s Sumit Vaish are the others to have qualified for the finals.

The finals are scheduled to be held in Mumbai from October 10 to 14.


Calcutta, Sept. 28: 
From among the three horses in the line-up for the 2,000m Calcutta Derby Trial Stakes, tomorrow, Alamito gets the first call. The Bharath Singh-trained colt has better credentials over the staying trip compared to the stable-mate Rescue Act. Cristopher Alford partners the Twist And Turn-Bailla Reus colt.

Race card and selections

1. Midensis Handicap 1,100m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) 1.20 pm: Lively Project 60 Dalpat 2; Heaven�s Blessing 55.5 Shanker 3; Aureate 54.5 Islam 4; Calculus 53.5 Upadhya 1.
1. Lively Project (1) 2. Heaven�s Blessing (2) 3. Aureate (3)

2. South Seas Handicap 1,800m (Cl III; Cl IV eligible, Rt. 22-72) 2 pm: Altiama 60; C. Alford 4; Aflicker 59 Rabani 2; Solo Act 58.5 Rutherford 1; Flying Scot 54 Gowli 3.

1. Altiama (1) 2. Solo Act (3) 3. Aflicker (2)

3. Mysore Race Club Cup 1,200m (Cl I, Rt. 88 & over) 2.30 pm: Anolini 60 Surender 5; Arendal 59 A. P. Singh 2; Treasurer 59 Brij S. 4; Beneficent 55.5 Yasin 1; Bountiful Gesture 51 C. Alford 3.

1. Bountiful Gesture (5) 2. Arendal (2) 3. Anolini (1)

4. Calcutta Derby Trial Stakes 2,000m (Terms, 3-y-o only) 3 pm: Alamito 56; C. Alfrod 3; Calculate 56 Shanker 1; Rescue Act 56 Rabani 2.

1. Alamito (1) 2. Rescue Act (3)

5. Star of Italy Cup 1,200m (Cl II, Rt. 66-94) 3.30 pm: Highland Flame 60 Islam 8; Gold Buck 58.5 Shanker 2; Sky Command 54 Rutherford 6; Soviet Port 54 Rabani 7; Victory Waltz 54 Brij S. 5; Arctic Fancy 53.5 Connorton 1; Alsheim 53 C. Alford 4; Ardon 50 Kujur 3.

1. Alsheim (7) 2. Soviet Port (4) 3. Sky Command (3)

6. Thrifty Allan Handicap 1,200m (Cl IV, Rt. 22-50) 4 pm: Simply Dashing 60 Dalpat 2; Constantine 58.5 Amjad 4; Anokato 57 Connorton 5; Common Spirit 56 Yasin 3; Global Harmony 50 Islam 1.

1. Anokato (3) 2. Global Harmony (5) 3. Common Spirit (4)

Day�s Best: Anokato

Double: Altiama & Alamito.

Dallas Todywalla�s Knighted may win the Her Majesty Trophy in Pune on Saturday.


1.15 pm: Discover 1. Proud Moment 2. Double Up 3.
1.45 pm: Knighted 1. Signal Tap 2.
2.15 pm: Rosetta 1. Star Status 2. Applause 3.
2.45 pm: Come Prima 1. Kingstown 2. Swing 3.
3.15 pm: Cosmic Jazz 1. Blue Butterfly 2. Knight Moves 3.
3.45 pm: Fly By Alibi 1. Soliel 2. Amber Wine 3.
4.15 pm: Aspiring Star 1. Pecan Pie 2. Abbeydoran 3.
4.45 pm: Midnight Star 1. Reaching Out 2. Color Me Good 3.
5.15 pm: Dahana 1. Over The Ocean 2. Smart Warrior 3.
5.45 pm: Loyal Rebel 1. Castle Moon 2. Zehera 3.

Day�s Best: Knighted

Double: Cosmic Jazz & Fly By Alibi.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Bhadravathi Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (3-2-6) Beverly Babe (Warren) 1; Al Bashir 2; Solar Power 3. Not run: Fighter�s World (3) Won by: 1-1/2; 2; (1-17.2). Tote: Win Rs 69; Place: 19; 10; 20; Quinella: 47; Tanala: 559. Fav: Al Bashir (2).

2. Mandya Plate, Div-II 1,100m: (6-5-8) Radical (Prithviraj) 1; Catch Word 2; Niveditha 3. Not run: Hayate (4). Won by: 3-1/4; Nk; (1-9.6). Tote: Win Rs 21; Place: 11; 12; 34; Quinella: 44; Tanala: 373. Fav: Radical (6).

3. Bhadravathi Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (10-11-5) Zulia�s (A. Imran) 1; Golden Days 2; Straight Arrow 3. Won by: 4-1/4; 1/2; (1-16.8). Tote: Win Rs 90; Place: 20; 83; 13; Quinella: 2,368; Tanala: 57,105. Fav: Straight Arrow (5).

4. Mandya Plate, Div-I 1,100m: (5-8-3) Blushing Star (Amit) 1; Bountiful Star 2; Soldier of Fortune 3. Not run: Black Ocean (4). Won by: Nk; 1-1/4; (1-9.1). Tote: Win Rs 54; Place: 13; 10; 31; Quinella: 27; Tanala: 437. Fav: Bountiful Star (8).

5. Sanctity Gold Cup 1,400m: (4-6-3) Fighting Brave (Prakash) 1; Arzillo 2; Kingston Heath 3. Won by: 1-1/2; 1-1/4; (1-28.9). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 10; 11; 21; Quinella: 18; Tanala: 37. Fav: Fighting Brave (4).

6. Governor�s Gold Cup 2,000m: (6-10-5) Sterling Fantasy (Abraham) 1; Appleby 2; Aerobee 3. Won by: SH; 1-1/2; (2-9.3). Tote: Win Rs 227; Place: 56; 34; 13; Quinella: 2,973; Tanala: 36,456. Fav: Acrobat (1).

7. Hyderabad Race Club Gold Cup 1,200m: (7-3-12) I Am Beautiful (Shobhan) 1; Persian Goddess 2; Trap A Spy 3. Won by: SH; 4; (1-16.5). Tote: Win Rs 201; 43; 15; 16; Quinella: 289; Tanala: 4,432. Fav: Scarlet Runner (8).

8. Commanche Plate 1,100m: (10-7-8) Worldly Pick (A. Imran) 1; Bigshow 2; Russian Art 3. Won by: 6-1/2; 1-1/2; (1-10.5). Tote: Win Rs 24; Place: 15; 27; 55; Quinella: 75; Tanala: 1,029. Fav: Worldly Pick (10).

Jackpot: Rs 1,62,250 (Carried over).

Treble: (i) Rs 1,171; (ii) Rs 15,741.

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