Sourav, diagnosed as having a “shoulder problem”, will require eight-ten days to recover, while Srinath has suffered a fracture on his left fifth metacarpal — the result of a hit from Mornantau Hayward last evening, Day I of the ‘Test’ here.
For Srinath, it’s the second fracture in the same region in a shade over three months. The one difference, of course, is that the damage in Galle was caused by Dilhara Fernando. Srinath’s Sri Lanka trip, then, got curtailed and he missed the last two Tests.
Late tonight, The Telegraph learnt that Srinath will “almost surely” have to undergo surgery and, so, will be out of all three Tests versus England: Mohali, Ahmedabad and hometown Bangalore. There was, however, no official confirmation.
To talk of Sourav, he was much better today — the pain on the right side being less and he could also move the shoulder — but medical opinion is that recovery won’t be immediate. Tomorrow, he is scheduled to see a specialist in Johannesburg.
As of now, Sourav isn’t slated to meet the Johannesburg-based Dr Mark Fergusson, who has operated upon both Jawagal Srinath (mid-1997) and Anil Kumble (early 2001). Hopefully, Dr Fergusson won’t come into the picture at all.
“I’ve already spoken to the Board secretary (Niranjan Shah) this morning and indicated I’m doubtful for the first Test... It’s possible the selectors could only pick me as the 15th player, in case I can play...” Sourav remarked, speaking exclusively.
The selectors, one understands, are to meet on Tuesday. If Sourav isn’t available, the captaincy will (again) go to Rahul Dravid. Incidentally, Dravid himself has a shoulder problem and frequently requires ice-packs.
Sourav, by the way, was given another cortisone injection today. Tomorrow should be the last.
With most of South Africa, including the SuperSport Park turnout, preparing for the South Africa versus England rugby Test in Twickenham, only an extraordinary effort from Shaun Pollock’s team would have kept them interested in the ‘Test’ here.
In the event, the tried and trusted Gary Kirsten-Herschelle Gibbs pair ensured the switch in loyalties didn’t take the form of an exodus: They added 135 for the first-wicket, an attractive partnership which ended with Gibbs falling for 59 (145 minutes, 111 balls, 10x4).
More to the point, that muscular start enabled South Africa force a 29-run lead by stumps on the second day. With six wickets intact, including that of Jacques Kallis’ (41 not out), the hosts can really turn on the heat tomorrow. The odds, against India, will then be unusually heavy.
Last evening, Pollock had bluntly remarked his team was treating the outing as a practice game. Kirsten and Gibbs certainly did, taking runs off the Indians at will. Both drive superbly, off the front foot and back, and today was no exception. The partnership would have grown stronger had Gibbs not been somewhat impetuous.
By tea, South Africa had reached 184 for two, with Kirsten (who turned 34 yesterday) on 84 to Kallis’ six. The second wicket to fall was that of debutant and local lad Jacques Rudolph, run out by a smart throw from substitute Ajit Agarkar.
Rudolph, described as “most exciting” by coach Graham Ford, scored just 21 but each of his four boundaries had a classy touch. It’s for his enormous potential that he has been picked to tour Australia.
The final session saw two dismissals: Kirsten, beaten by a beauty from Ashish Nehra, and ‘birthday boy’ Neil McKenzie, who departed on what turned out to be the last delivery. McKenzie was claimed by Sachin Tendulkar, introduced at the fag end by stand-in captain Rahul Dravid.
Sachin, booked for ball-tampering in the Port Elizabeth Test, received a warm round of applause when he came on to bowl. It was, surely, the crowd’s way of extending moral support. Mike Denness, though, wasn’t around to see and hear things first-hand.
Kirsten scored 90 (211 minutes, 155 balls, 13x4, 1x6). Clearly, on a largely benign wicket, he was determined to come good after having managed four and five in the last (official) Test.
For India, though Harbhajan Singh went wicketless, he was the pick among bowlers.
Earlier, the Indian first innings ended (at 232) within half-an-hour of the start. Not surprisingly, Jawagal Srinath didn’t bat. In fact, he has suffered a fracture at the head of the left hand’s fifth metacarpal and is “almost certain” to undergo surgery.
Srinath did, however, bowl and sent back Gibbs. Given his condition, he did go off twice though.
Though regarded as being moody, Gibbs didn’t duck a single question during an interview with The Telegraph last evening. He was brutally frank and, at times, emotional.
The following are excerpts:
On 2001 being an outstanding year (three centuries and five fifties in the last 15 Test innings)
(Grins) It didn’t start very well, though... I had scores of 0 and 1 in my first two innings... But, at that point in time, a lot of things were going on in my mind. I had just come off that six-month ban and, really, wasn’t sure about many things. For instance, I didn’t know how teammates would react; didn’t know how the public would respond. Fortunately, my comeback Test was in Cape Town, my hometown, where I have considerable support.
[Gibbs was punished for having accepted an offer of $ 15,000, from the then-captain Hansie Cronje, to underperform in the Nagpur ODI last year. As it turned out, Gibbs reneged — scoring 74 instead of “less than 20” — and wasn’t paid.]
On the mental pressure
Oh, immense... The controversy had been a big story everywhere. But, more than the past, I was worried about the reaction of teammates and the public. If a batsman isn’t fully focussed, if he can’t press the right buttons, he is dead... It’s because so many non-cricket things were on my mind that I couldn’t score on making a return.
On his teammates’ reaction
They were pleased, they felt for me... They realised a lot of things were on in my mind. Their body-language helped me to relax sooner than I probably would have.
On when exactly did he begin to feel comfortable
In the West Indies... I realised I could play in the manner I used to before the match-fixing scandal... I grew in confidence... Having gathered my thoughts, I knew I could (again) delivery.
On whether, this year, he has specially worked on some aspect of his batting
You see, it’s a question of maturity. Special guys like Sachin Tendulkar do mature quickly, others don’t. But, then, not everybody is as gifted as Sachin... Bottomline, then, is that I’ve matured. I also think my balance has improved and I’m going through with the hand well. (Adds laughing) I’ve played good cricket, too, haven’t I?
On whether he also wished to prove a point
No... The ban, if I may add, had come as an early retirement. Being out of the game for so many months, at the highest level, one tends to lose confidence. I had to prove to myself, not others, that I could do it.
On the period when he was banned from international cricket
That I could continue playing provincial cricket made it easy... I didn’t have a bad run, either. Fact still is I had to wait for that ban to get over.
On the early influences
My father, Herman, played a big role... He wasn’t a cricketer, but a high-profile athlete... He kept pushing me hard... Then, just about all the coaches in school. Each one had some influence, helped my game in some way.
On his idols
Peter Kirsten and Sir Vivian Richards.
On his description of himself as a batsman
(Grins again) A guy who likes to attack and try and make the game interesting for the crowd. Yes, I’m an entertainer of sorts... People pay good money to come through the turnstiles and, therefore, deserve entertainment. When I’m through with cricket, I would like them to remember me as someone who gave them every cent’s worth.
On his description of himself as a person
That’s difficult... I’m quite down to earth, but do enjoy life... There’s only one life and, so, why not enjoy to the fullest? Of course, it’s not easy always being in the spotlight... The privacy gets curtailed, something I don’t welcome... At the same time, I accept there are responsibilities which go with being an international sportsman.
On getting involved in controversies
(Laughs again) Probably because of the exuberance of youth... I’ve matured over the past 18 months or thereabouts... Nowadays, I look and jump. Nowadays, I think and act. There are lessons to be learnt, I’ve certainly learnt mine.
On just how much has he changed in the last 18 months
Perhaps, I’m more serious about my cricket. I wouldn’t say I’ve become serious as a person because, honestly, that boyish side of me still remains... I’ve got a new girl-friend and... No, she doesn’t want publicity till we are more into the relationship... But, yes, she has been a stabilising factor.
On the top lesson learnt in the past 18 months
That my time as a cricketer could be running out... That I must always play to potential... That, in cricket and in life, nothing ought to be taken for granted. If I stay fit and in form, I should play for seven-eight years.
On switching from Test to one-day cricket and vice-versa
Not difficult... If a ball is there to be hit, it will be smacked in both forms. The one difference, of course, is that Test cricket allows you to build an innings.
Finally, his thoughts when Cronje approached him with that match-fixing offer
(After a pause) I didn’t give anything much thought then... I mean, one respected Hansie so much... Looking back, I’m happy I got the punishment I did... Lucky I didn’t get banned for life. Was I relieved at confessing everything before the Justice Ediwn King Commission? Yeah... In any case, I couldn’t have lied under oath... I wanted the world to know my side of the story and the Commission was the perfect forum... People keep talking about Hansie, but I feel he should be left alone and allowed to get on with life.
After restricting the visitors to 184 on the opening day of the three-day match, Bengal today resumed at 85 for two and declared after reaching 290 for eight. Sougata Dutta chipped in with 69.
Needing 106 to avoid an innings defeat, Bihar were 51 for three off 31.3 overs. Kirti Sarkar took two wickets for two runs and Sumit Nunia one for three.
BRIEF SCORES: Bihar 184 & 51/3 (Kirti Sarkar 2/2). Bengal 290/8 decl.. (Anirban Gupta 159, Sougata Dutta 69).
University soccer, TTThirty-eight teams will take part in the East Zone inter-university football meet starting in the city Thursday.
The inter-university table tennis meet (east zone) will also be held at Khudiram Anushilan Kendra from December 5 to 7.
Both meets will be followed their respective all-India zonal counterparts in the city next month. Four teams from Each Zone will qualify for the inter-zonal action.
Meanwhile, Avijit Mondal (Baruipur College) and Shukla Durai (Chittaranjan College) were adjudged men’s and women’s champions in the recent inter-collegiate athletics meet.
West Bengal Police beat Calcutta Police 25-15, 25-18, 23-25, 25-18 in the state senior men’s volleyball meet today. Milan Samity defeated Saptarshi AC 25-15, 25-14, 25-22, while Naihati AC overcame Eastern Railway 25-21, 25-21, 25-23.
The meet got underway Thursday but just one of the four matches could be completed. The same happened today with the East Bengal-Shyambazar match taking place at the Eden, and the other three were abandoned without a ball being bowled.
A senior CAB official said later that the tournament committee had decided to push back the fixtures until further announcement. Teams would get two points each for the abandoned matches.
The official said wickets were not yet ready in many grounds, which prompted the association to announce postponement. The knockout tournament, scheduled for a December 4 start, has also been postponed. First and second division leagues, scheduled to kick off Wednesday, have also been pushed back by a week.
Bengal players supposed to play for the clubs this week have been asked to attend practice at the Eden from Monday following today’s developments.
Big win for East Bengal
East Bengal, meanwhile, beat Shyambazar by 140 runs in what turned out to be the day’s only match. East Bengal made 215 for four in 40 overs and earned 53 penalty runs as their rivals bowled five overs less than the stipulated 45. Their tally soared to 268 and Shyambazar could manage just 128 in 44.4 overs.
The matches to suffer today were Kalighat-Eastern Railway (CCFC), Mohun Bagan-Tapan Memorial (ECDSC) and Wari-Netaji Subhas Institute (Rajdanga).
BRIEF SCORES: East Bengal 268/5 in 45 ovs including 53 penalty runs (Nikhil Haldipur 62, Shiv Sagar Singh 51 n.o., Alokendu Lahiri 42 n.o., Naushad Akhtar 32). Shyambazar 128 in 44.4 ovs (Dharmendra Singh 3/26). East Bengal won by 140 runs.
The policemen pipped Kidderpore to the final ‘super four’ slot courtesy a 3-2 win over Customs at Mohun Bagan ground. Subrata Das and Arabindo Sarkar gave West Bengal Police a 2-0 lead in the first half. Customs came back strongly to level scores through Sudiman Guha and Chandan Dey in the second session.
Customs then conceded an awful goal — the goalkeeper letting Subrata’s gentle grounder go through his legs — to help the policemen win.
Kiddepore’s 2-1 win over Wari at Howrah Municipal Stadium was not enough to carry them to the championship leg. They would have qualified if the policemen had lost their match today. Tarak Chatterjee scored a brace for Kidderpore while Anirban Sengupta pulled one back for Wari.
At the Mohammedan Sporting ground, the game between Ever-Ready and Bata had to be stopped four times because of a cricket practice session in the adjoining ground. Somnath Pramanik and Amit Das scored once in each half as Ever-Ready emerged convincing winners. They had already made it to the super four, along with Eastern Railway and Peerless.
Howrah Union rode a Sayeed Gaffer double to prevail over Aryan 2-1 at East Bengal ground. Anjan Basu Roy reduced the margin.
The afternoon may also witness a new star emerging from among the seven fillies lined up for the first classic of the season, the Calcutta 1,000 Guineas over 1,600 metres. The fact that the outstation challengers have repeatedly been at receiving end during the ensuing season, it may not come as a surprise if the local champion filly Angeles manages to keep her reputation entact. The Brave Hunter-Cool Tempo three-year-old from Vijay Singh’s yard will be partnered by Aslam Kader.
The Mayfowl Cup, another terms race, may, however, see the sourthern challenger Bold Chieftan, winning the trophy. The Daniel David-trained four-year-old is looking vastly improved since his last win, he may not be hard-pressed to win in the hands of J. Abraham — relatively new to the local race-track.
Race Card and Selections
1. Goldfinder Handicap 1,100m (Cl IV, 5-y-o & over Rt. 22-50) 12.40 pm: Abashed 60 Islam 2; Storm Centre 56 Dalpat 1; Common Spirit 55 B. Prakash 3; Crest Star 53.5 Yasin 4.
1. Common Spirit (3) 2. Abashed (1) 3. Storm Centre (2)
2. Law Win Handicap 1,100m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) 1.10 pm: Heaven’s Blessing 60 Shanker 2; Rare Orchid 56.5 Maseyk 4; Blessed Spirit 53.5 V. Jaiswal 6; Aureate 51 Rabani 1; Piece of Cake 47.5 Brij S. 5; Rich Dominion 47.5 J. Abraham 3.
1. Rich Dominion (6) 2. Aureate (4) 3. Heaven’s Blessing (1)
3. Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy 1,100m (Terms, 2-y-o only) 1.50 pm: Moon Mission 57 B. Prakash 9; Moon Quest 55 Connorton 7; Musician 55 Rabani 1; Pehlvan 55 Islam 10; Phunney Phellow late Crescendo 55 Appu 2; Sea Royale 55 (N.D.S.); Anatolia 53.5 Kader 8; Callisto 53.5 (C. Alford 4; Romantic Notes 53.5 Shanker 6; Social Girl late Golden Fawn 53.5 Upadhya 3; Star Selection 53.5 J. Abraham 5.
1. Anatolia (7) 2. Moon Mission (1) 3. Callisto (8)
4. Beat The Distance Handicap 1,400m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) 2.20 pm: Grecian Prince 60 B. Prakash 5; Impressive Prince 58 J. Abraham 1; Reactor 58 Shanker 4; Pneumatic Power 56.5 Asghar 6; Touch of Elegance 56.5 Brij S. 2; Aberdan 55.5 C. Alford 7; Calculus 48 Amil 3.
1. Aberdan (6) 2. Impressive Prince (2) 3. Grecian Prince (1)
5. Calcutta 1000 Guineas 1,600m (Terms, 3-y-o fillies only) 2.50 pm: Ancheta 54.5 Shanker 6; Angeles 54.5 Kader 2; Arristo 54.5 F. Norton 3; Blue Gardenia 54.5 Appu 5; Calorescence 54.5 C. Alford 4; Si Senora 54.5 Shroff 7; Touch of Silver 54.5 B. Prakash 1.
1. Angeles (2) 2. Touch of Silver (7) 3. Calorescence (5)
6. Mayfowl Cup 1,400m (Terms 4-y-o & over) 3.25 pm: Alternator 63 F. Norton 1; Fame Star 60.5 Shanker 4; Alyssum 56.5 C. Alford 8; Soviet Song 54 Shroff 5; Allodium 50.5 Rabani 3; Anolini 50.5 J.Amil 7; Bold Chieftan 49.5 J. Abraham 9; Earl Grey 49.5 Appu 12; Lockers Park 49.5 Islam 6; Amusing 48.5 Kujur 11; Annatto 48.5 Kader 10; Thunder Struck 48.5 Yasin 2.
1. Bold Chieftan (7) 2. Annatto (11) 3. Anolini (6)
7. Cheviot Handicap 1,100m (Cl III, 5-y-o & over Rt. 44-72) 4 pm: Winning Glory 60 Maseyk 6; Crimson King 59 Connorton 10; Winning Hand 57.5 Gowli 2; Kargil Soldier 57 Appu 9; Best In Show 56.5 B. Gurang 1; Carbon Copy 56 Gajender 12; Simply Monarch 54 B. Prakash 8; Charlene 52.5 Islam 5; Starina 52.5 Tamang 11; Ace of Spades 52 R. Ahmed 4; Super Smile 52 Rabani 7; Mr. Bombshell 51 Yasin 3.
1. Simply Monarch (7) 2. Super
Smile (11) 3. Kargil Soldier (4)
Day’s Best: Angeles Double: Common Spirit & Rich Dominion.
1.30 pm: Kraft 1. Aureus 2. Saranyu 3.
2 pm: The Gladiator 1. Princess Jo 2. Tarascon 3.
2.30 pm: Latest News 1. Triple Cheer 2. Acacia Blossom 3.
3 pm: Coronado 1. Twinkling Star 2. Betsy 2.
3.30 pm: Kraftwerk 1. Aylesfield 2. Dahana 3.
4 pm: Rambus 1.
4.30 pm: Wordsworth 1. Ruffles 2. My Blue Moon 3.
5 pm: Quick Decision 1. Auditor 2. Prima Ballerina 3.
Day’s Best: The Gladiator
Double: Kraft & Rambus
Saturday’s Bangalore Results
(With inter-state dividends)
1. Haveri Plate 1,200m: (5-3-6) Star Chivalry (Prakash) 1; Generation Next 2; Limitations 3. Won by: Dist; Nk; (1-16.8). Tote: Win Rs 14; Place: 12; 22; 26; Quinella: 55; Tanala: 386. Fav: Star Chivalry (5).
2. Everynsky Plate 1,200m: (2-7-4) Telegram (Nagesh) 1; Zoracia 2; River Bed 3. Won by: 2-1/4; 3; (1-16.9). Tote: Win Rs 48; Place: 19; 18; 43; Quinella: 79; Tanala: 1,399. Fav: Zoracia (7).
3. Kudremukh Cup 1,400m: (2-5-1) Taipan (Rajendra) 1; If Looks Could Kill 2; Star Pegasus 3. Won by: Nk; 1/2; (1-29). Tote: Win Rs 17; Place: 11; 21; 15; Quinella: 50; Tanala: 156. Fav: Taipan (2).
4. Bangalore 1000 Guineas 1,600m: (5-2-6-3) Snow Dew (Prakash) 1; Nairn (Appu) 2; Battle Star (Kader) 3; Affability (Shroff) 4. Won by: 2-1/4; 5; 2-1/4; (1-39.8). Tote: Win Rs 13; Place: 10; 15; 18; Quinella: 23; Tanala: 100. Fav: Snow Dew (5).
5. Viduraswatha Plate 1,400m: (4-2-3) Barroness Orczy (Norton) 1; Astrid 2; Red Sand 3. Won by: Nk; 1-1/2; (1-29.6). Tote: Win Rs 21; Place: 12; 16; 29; Quinella: 37; Tanala: 326. Fav: Barroness Orczy (4).
6. Kalakshetra Plate 1,600m: (8-2-4) Sinatra (Srinath) 1; Caape City 2; Nice And Noble 3. Won by: 4; 3; (1-44.9). Tote: Win Rs 50; Place: 16; 21; 20; Quinella: 119; Tanala: 568. Fav: Agnivarsh (1).
Jackpot: Rs 898; (C) Rs 76.
Treble: (i) 105; (ii) Rs 88.