Hussain spares team the rod
Need for physical trainer stressed
I need to be consistent: Yuvraj
Firoz keeps lead in Nepal
Salkia, Aryan relegated
Ranjan, Ismail in title round
Sarkar picks 6 cheap scalps
Bangalore Racing/ Hope And Faith for �2000�
Calcutta Racing/ 7 for Sunday�s 2000 Guineas

Chandigarh, Dec. 7: 
It�s generally believed that most teams, while on tour, head straight for the drawing board after a big defeat. The Englishmen, though, are different.

�I think it�s important to take a day off and, then, have a collective meeting. For instance, I�m heading for the golf course with some of my mates... Others may have something else in mind for the day,� informed England captain Nasser Hussain.

Speaking to The Telegraph at the team hotel on the morning after a ten-wicket defeat, Hussain added: �As neither I nor (head coach) Duncan Fletcher believe the dressing room is quite the appropriate place to analyse what went wrong, there wasn�t even an informal post-mortem right after the game...�

According to Hussain, who has played a huge role in transforming English cricket, the players are �encouraged� to analyse their own way and, then, put their thoughts across at the formal post-mortem. �That will be gone through either tomorrow morning, before we leave for Ahmedabad (via New Delhi), or once we get there in the evening,� Hussain pointed out.

Grinning, Hussain remarked: �The head coach, as should now be clear, doesn�t exactly favour those �naughty-boy� nets... Clearly, the very next day is kept free of all things cricket. The brainstorming session, however, will be as thorough as it can get. Golf and whatever else, will become part of history.�

Significantly, Hussain insisted he won�t be critical at tomorrow�s post-mortem: �I confess it wasn�t easy getting up this morning... One doesn�t mind the tiredness if the going has been good, but... Still, I�m not going to be critical at our internal meeting. I would have been, had we had the experienced Atherton, Stewart, Gough and Caddick.

�In the circumstances, it won�t be proper for me to come down like a tonne of bricks when the XI which played in Mohali had two debutants (Richard Dawson and James Foster) and two others (Matthew Hoggard and James Ormond) who, between themselves, only had the experience of three Tests... The way forward, now, isn�t to take the players apart.�

[While Atherton quit at the end of the recent Ashes series, Stewart and Gough made themselves unavailable. Caddick, of course, pulled out citing misgivings over security.]

It�s certainly with good reason that Hussain is regarded as a captain different from the rest.

Incidentally, by rotation, a couple of the players are inducted into England�s tour management committee. On this trip, for example, senior pro Graham Thorpe and Ashley Giles sit alongside Hussain, Fletcher and vice-captain Marcus Trescothick.

The second Test, in Ahmedabad, begins December 11. The third and last, in Bangalore, will be from December 19.


Chandigarh, Dec. 7: 
With captain Sourav Ganguly too convinced the national team �urgently� needs a physical trainer, coach John Wright will formally request the Board to appoint one at the earliest.

Wright may convey this request during his meeting with Board president Jagmohan Dalmiya in New Delhi tomorrow. One understands Sourav and Wright were �very impressed� with the Free State�s trainer, in Bloemfontein, and the job could eventually go to him. Dalmiya, incidentally, will also be meeting physio Andrew Leipus, who has been doubling up as the team�s trainer. Both Wright and Leipus are currently on an informal extension and a fresh contract should soon be offered.

Wright and Leipus, who left for the capital this afternoon, will head straight for Ahmedabad after interacting with Dalmiya. For the Board chief, the meetings tomorrow will be part of his exercise towards �better communication� between the many arms of Indian cricket.

As was first reported in The Telegraph, Dalmiya formally wrote to both Wright and Leipus (who were in South Africa) within days of taking over as Board president. Dalmiya, in fact, sought an �explanation� for the team being so inconsistent and the many injuries.

For their part, Wright and Leipus sent an �interim report� from South Africa itself. Tomorrow, both may make a more pucca �presentation�.


Chandigarh, Dec. 7: 
He made a dream debut in the ICC KnockOut Trophy in Kenya but has failed to maintain that momentum ever since. His attitude, too, has come under the scanner of the national selectors. Yet, when he started off, he was being dubbed as the allrounder India had been searching for the one-day Internationals.

Very often, the flamboyant Yuvraj Singh has failed to get the big scores even after getting a good start. The lapses in concentration and lack of application were identified as the causes for his failures.

�I don�t know why I haven�t been as successful as I should have been after October 2000. I didn�t do too well in the last tri-series in South Africa too,� Yuvraj confessed to the The Telegraph at his residence here this morning. �The only significant contribution has been the 98 I got versus Sri Lanka in Colombo in the triangular series this year,� he said.

Batting at No. 6, he believes, has been real tough. �You always have to keep the interests of the team in your mind. Things are just not working out as desired. I know I need to be more consistent. I have been trying my best and hope to be successful,� the allrounder said.

Yuvraj does not think the high expectations of the cricket-crazy nation has been weighing heavily in his mind. �Obviously one has to cope with pressures and perform. Otherwise there�s no point in playing the game. I have to bat according to the needs of the situation and get the runs.�

In the tri-series in South Africa, he has even been dismissed off the very first ball in a crucial situation. Has the failures then got something to do with his technique or manner of handling situations? �There�s no fault with my technique. I have, however, worked out certain small things with Sachin and Sourav. Vikram Rathore and Daljit Singh have also been of great help at the Punjab nets. The adjustments made have been minor,� he explained.

He does not agree, but he has often been accused of being too casual in his approach. �I don�t know why such things are being said. I have never been casual. I always try and give off my best whether be it batting, bowling or fielding.�

Captain Sourav Ganguly has had his share of criticism for sticking to Yuvraj, despite the failures. The Indian captain has showed immense faith in the enormous talent he possesses and knows well that he has it in him to win matches.

�I still have a long, long way to go. I have just started my career and know fully well that I haven�t always been able to meet the demands of the captain,� he remarked.

The confidence in his voice and the conviction suggest Yuvraj is determined to get more consistent. Moreover, with the selectors stressing on accountability, he is not taking things lightly. �I have been working hard with the guys at the Punjab nets. I know performance is essential and I�m positive about being consistent.�


Calcutta, Dec. 7: 
A cold, overcast third day at the Gokarna Golf Club in Kathmandu saw overnight leader Firoz Ali of Calcutta keep his lead in the Rs 9 lakh Surya Nepal Masters. In the 12th leg of the Hero Honda Indian Golf Tour Firoz, winner here in 1996, will go into the final round tomorrow at seven-under 209, according to information received here. Moving up to the second place was the surprise packet of the tournament, Mohammed Maqbool of Delhi, who shot his second successive one-under 71 to tally five-under 211.

First round leader, Uttam Singh Mundy was third at 213, while Gaurav Ghei moved to fourth place at two-under 214 with a 72. Amit Dube of Noida and Ali Sher shot the day�s best card of three-under 69.

Firoz began the round disastrously with a double bogey on the first hole after driving the ball into the right jungle. Thereafter, he had moments of brilliance and utter mediocrity in a round that went up-and-down for him. On the par-4 fourth, he unleashed a mammoth drive to reach the green, but then three-putted for a par. On the fifth, he drained a huge 20-foot putt.

However, it was his tee shot on the par-4 14th which gave him his gameplan for tomorrow. With the wooded right narrowing the fairway, Firoz decided to play safe and use a six-iron at tee. It went just about 150 yards and straight into the bush, from where he made a bogey.

STANDINGS � 209: Firoz Ali (68,67,74); 211: Mohd Maqbool (69,71,71); 213: Uttam Singh Mundy (65,73,75); 214: Gaurav Ghei (73,69,72); 215: Mukesh Kumar (72,72,71), Shiv Prakash (70,74,71), Naman Dawar (70,72,73), Harmeet Kahlon (70,72,73), Vijay Kumar (72,69,74), Sanjay Kumar (68,73,74); 216: Digvijay Singh (70,70,76); 218: Jaiveer Virk (73,71,74); 219: Rahil Gangjee (67,76,76).


Calcutta, Dec. 7: 
Despite winning their tie against Wari AC 1-0 today, Salkia Friends were relegated to first division, group B, as per their aggregate of 1-2 � Wari winning the first leg 2-0. Anwar Ali Baig scored the winner.

A 10-men Aryan Club also met the same fate after losing to Bata 1-2. Bata finished with an aggregate of 3-1. Aryan�s woes added up when Faiz Alam was sent off by Jayanta Sarkar. Sabyasachi Nag and Subhashish Bhowmick scored for Bata while Pranab Basnia got one back in vain.

Inter-university soccer

Calcutta University trounced BRA Bihar University 6-2 in the inter-university football meet today. Subha Kumar, Sandip Karmakar and Mainak Bhattacharya scored a brace each. Ramesh Kumar scored for Bihar University. The Burdwan University-Rabindra Bharati University match ended goalless.

Bengal win

Bengal beat Madhya Pradesh 3-0 and Jammu and Kashmir 2-0 in the BSNL all-India football meet at SAI, Eastern Centre today.

RESULTS � Ben bt MP 3-0, TN bt Mah 2-0, Ker bt Bih 1-0; Kar bt Raj 5-0, Ori bt AP 3-0, MTNL (Del) bt UP (East) 3-0, MTNL (Mum) bt Pun 3-0, NTR-Delhi lost to Jhar 0-1, Ker bt Guj 7-0, Ben bt J&K 2-0, TN bt Har 2-1.


Calcutta, Dec. 7: 
Ranjan Prasad set up a title clash with Md Ismail in the under-12 boys� singles category of the floodlit tennis tournament held at the Saturday Club today. Ranjan beat Md Imran 6-1, 6-1 as Md Ismail got the better of Bibaswan Deb 6-3, 7-6 (7-1).

OTHER RESULTS � Boys� singles (U-18), semi-finals � Samrat Ghosh bt Karan Dhillon 6-1, 6-4; Sabyasachi Bose bt Bapi Halder 6-4, 6-1. Girls singles (U-18) � Shivika Burman bt Tanya Ahuja 6-4, 6-2.


Calcutta, Dec. 7: 
With Kirti Sarkar�s six wickets Bengal helped Assam pack up for 228 in 94 overs on the first day of the Vijay Merchant Trophy at Eden Gardens today.

Assam�s Sadeq Imran Chowdhury made 110 off 159 balls. In reply, Bengal were 21 for no loss at stumps.

BRIEF SCORES: Assam 228 in 94 ovs (Sadeq Imran Chowdhury 110, Kuldeep Baishya Pegu 38, Utpal Medhi 32, Devankar Kalita 30; Kirti Sarkar 6/69, Manoj Tiwari 3/62). Bengal 21/0.


Bangalore, Dec. 7: 
The Z. Darashah-trained Hope And Faith may cash in on his run advantage and lift the Harvins Bangalore 2000 Guineas, tomorrow, in the hands of K. P. Appu.


1.30 pm: Orient View 1. Rose Garden 2. Bunker Buster 3.

2 pm: Rusticana 1. Glencruitten 2. Sun Court 3.

2.30 pm: Amalgamate 1. Brunswick 2. Luca Brassi 3.

3 pm: Sunspangled 1. Flaming Tower 2. Alassio 3.

3.30 pm: Elusive Hero 1. Spirited Effort 2.

4 pm: Hope And Faith 1. Ansbach 2. Taipan 3.

4.30 pm: Altosax 1. Auric 2. Agronomist 3.

5 pm: Think of Us 1. Kisunugntly 2. St. Lucinda 3.

Day�s Best: Sunspangled

Double: Altosax & Think of Us

Friday�s Bangalore results

(With inter-state dividends)

First race: Prevalence (Prakash) 1; Milan 2; Serious Endeavour 3. Won by: 6-1/4; 2; (1-15.2). Tote: Win Rs 13; Place: 11; 40; 13; Quinella: 112; Tanala: 353. Fav: Prevalence.

Second race: Xorra (S. Narredu) 1; Tassha 2; King Chailesh 3. Won by: 1/2; Hd; (1-31.3). Tote: Win Rs 75; Place: 20; 166; 32; Quinella: 1,046; Tanala: 11,701. Fav: Nesara.

Third race: Telegram (A. Imran) 1; Golden Estate 2; Alisa 3. Won by: 4-1/4; 1-1/4; (1-15.1). Tote: Win Rs 63; Place: 20; 15; 16; Quinella: 112; Tanala: 1,042. Fav: Golden Estate.

Fourth race: Risk Me Now (Rajesh S.) 1; Southern Host 2; Burning Bright 3. Won by: 1; 3; (1-42.7). Tote: Win Rs 32; Place: 16; 24; 29; Quinella: 176; Tanala: 1,789. Fav: Risk Me Now.

Fifth race: Flying Scotsman (A. Imran) 1; Augill Castle 2; Axe 3. Won by: 1-1/2; 1-1/4; (1-27.2). Tote: Win Rs 19; Place: 13; 21; 79; Quinella: 61; Tanala: 957. Fav: Flying Scotsman.

Sixth race: Black Ocean (Rajesh) 1; Guernica 2; Splendid Ally 3. Won by: 2-1/4; 1-1/4; (1-9.7). Tote: Win Rs 25; Place: 13; 20; 29; Quinella: 131; Tanala: 929. Fav: Black Ocean.

Seventh race: Oscar (Shafiq) 1; Forest Pegasus 2; Breaking News 3. Won by: 3/4; 3/4; (1-15.9). Tote: Win Rs 76; Place: 20; 23; 29; Quinella: 236; Tanala: 6,831. Fav: Whitehall.

Jackpot: Rs 20,004; (C) Rs 655.

Treble: (i) Rs 2,202; (ii) Rs 634.


Calcutta, Dec. 7: 
Seven horses vie for the Calcutta 2,000 Guineas on Sunday. First race at 12.35 pm: ACCEPTANCES

1. Red Chieftan Handicap 1,100m (Cl IV, Rt. 22-50) 12.35 pm: Discomatic 60.5; Common Spirit 59.5; Bold Apparel 58; Storm Centre 55; Freedom Warrior 53; Crest Star 51.5; Calabash 51.

2. Time Machine Cup 1,600m (Cl II; Cl III eligible Rt. 44-94) 1.10 pm: Amber Dancer 60; Acceptor 56; Estocade 56; Illustrious Reign 53.5; Alsheim 53; No Regrets 52.5; Altiama 51; Own Legacy 51; Yukon 51; Aflicker 47.5.

3. Flaming Orb Handicap 1,400m: (Cl IV, Rt. 22-50) 1.50 pm: Declarationof love 60.5; Santillana 60.5; Master Bold 60; Peace Envoy 59.5; Iron Warrior 56.5; Accrete 55.5; As A Rule 55; Red Cordon 55; Calculate 54.5; Leading Conquest 52; Tuscaloosa 50.5; Darth Vader 50; Impressive Prince 49.

4. Nanoli Stud Juvenile Stakes 1,100m (Terms, 2-y-o only) 2.20 pm: Royal City ex Royal Wave 55; Anatolia 53.5; Callisto 53.5; Social Girl ex Golden Fawn 53.5; Software Classic 53.5; Star Selection 53.5.

5. Sunbird Cup 1,600m (Cl III; Cl IV eligible Rt. 22-72) 2.55 pm: Among Men 60; Raring To Go 59.5; Si Senora 58.5; Fairy Prince 57.5; Laurels 55.5; Solo Act 55.5; Attune 55; Set Aside 54.5; Ay My Command 53.5; Soviet Dance 51; Rescue Act 49; Arbello 47.

6. Calcutta 2000 Guineas 1,600m (Terms, 3-y-o only) 3.25 pm: Alamito 56; Antequera 56; Arterial 56; Mack The Knife 56; Star Cavalier 56; The Archer 56; Angeles 54.5.

7. Viscol Handicap 1,400m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) 4 pm: Just Kidding 61; Lucifer 61; Bay Dragon 60.5; Aklovic 60; Finders Keepers 58.5; Tsaynen Blue 58.5; Scenic Song 58; Orchestra 57.5; Archery 56; Wild Is The Wind 56; Rare Orchid 54.5; Sparkling Diamond 54.5; Rich Dominion 53; Noor Aliya 52.5.

Jackpot: 3; 4; 5; 6; & 7.

Treble: (i) Rs 2; 3 & 4; (ii) 5; 6 & 7.


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