East Bengal, Bagan unfazed by players� exodus
Mahesh wins �clash of titans�
In The City
Jockeys on warpath again
Udhagamandalam Races/Ardent Flame triumphs

Calcutta, May 16: 
The Calcutta giants for the first time are facing a threat from the outstation clubs and an avalanche of players who had played in Calcutta last season, seems keen on leaving the Mecca of Football.

The worst hit have been none other than National League champions Mohun Bagan, losing their captain Debjit Ghosh to the constant poaching of Mahindra United recruiters.

Lack of funds has, in fact, forced the city clubs to look for alternatives. Consequently, Mohun Bagan recruiters� strategy to save the lion�s share of McDowell�s money for Brazilian star Jose Ramirez Barreto and Bhaichung Bhutia has only led to an anger among the local players.

While Mohun Bagan are trying to rope in sources of money other than McDowell, East Bengal have already confirmed Ilam Pearl, the mineral water company as their co-sponsors and the decision will be made public very soon.

Trailing way behind the race following a conflict of interests among club officials, Mohun Bagan have set out to find a sponsor, exclusively meant for Barreto, whose return to the club looks shrouded in doubts.

However, Mohun Bagan seem unfazed in the face of imminent loss of players like Rennedy Singh and R. C. Prakash to ITI. �We have confirmed players like Ashim Biswas and Sandip Das, and they will be suitable replacements,� said an official.

Another senior official said presence of Barreto and Bhaichung may act as a balance of power in the team.

East Bengal, who Bhaichung has reportedly put faith on after his stint with the Bury FC, however, do not seem too interested to stretch things around the star player to extremes.

�If Bagan increase Bhaichung�s rate too much, we will back off,� said an East Bengal official today.

East Bengal have already released I.M. Vijayan and Jo Paul Ancheri is unlikely to come back. However, they have already confirmed the services of ITI�s star striker, Mike Okoro.

The red and gold brigade also signed in promising players like Venkatesh and Kulothungan from ITI, Tulunga from Tata Academy and Alvito De�Cunha from Salgaocar.

The defence looks strong with the inclusion of Subhashish Roy Chowdhury from Tollygunge Agragami and retention of Dipak Mondol. And the inclusion of Suresh (from Mahindra) and Raju Singh (Air India) will add more strength to their backline.

However, both East Bengal and Mohun Bagan have been extremely cautious about recruiting foreigners, with AIFF making the rule that not more than two foreigners can play in a match in local tournaments.

While East Bengal have already released Suleh Musah, Omolaja, and Carlos, Mohun Bagan also are not running after any foreigner other than Barreto.

But one team which has come out with a surprise package is Mohammedan Sporting. They have already recruited the likes of Habib Adekunle (Mahindra), Dipendu Biswas (East Bengal), Abdulateef Seriki and Hussain Mustafi (Mohun Bagan).

Also with their new coach Habib known to be a hard task-master, things might just turn around for the club.

The fourth club in the fray, Tollygunge Agragami, has been badly hurt by the lack of funds. Manaksia, their sponsor last year, has cut down on the budget drastically and the authorities are keen to clinch a new deal.

Despite their captain Shasthi Duley�s switch of allegiance to East Bengal, Tollygunge�s foreign line-up looks quite certain with Akeem, Isiaka and Moses already confirming to play for the club for another season.


Calcutta, May 16: 
Mahesh Bhupathi won the clash of Indian titans in Hamburg Thursday evening.

According to information received here, Bhupathi and Jan-Michael Gambill outlasted Leander Paes and Tomas Cibulec 6-2, 4-6 (10-5) in the second round to reach the quarter finals of the Hamburg Masters Series.

This was their first �confrontation� since they split for the second time in early March.


May 16: 

Barreto is the best: Subrata

Mohun Bagan coach Subrata Bhattacharya did not seem too perturbed by some players leaving the club and confident he would get a good team in the end. �I�m also quite hopeful we will fare well in the Asian Football Championship,� Subrata, who was felicitated at a city function Thursday for becoming AFC coach of the month in April, said.

�Football is a total team effort and I am not too much bothered about three or four players leaving the club,� he felt.

According to Subrata, Brazil�s Jose Ramirez Barreto is the best foreigner ever to have played in India. �Barreto is technically much more sound than someone like Majid Baskar or Emeka.� He also picked up Argentina and France as the favourites in the World Cup.

TT umpire killed

Former international table tennis player Shibendra Sankar Mitra (64) was killed in a road accident at Barrackpore Thursday. He had officiated in World Table Tennis, Asian Table Tennis meets as well Commonwealth Games. He had also been the chief referee in the national meet. Mitra is survived by his mother, wife and son.

Coaching camp

YMCA Wellington Branch is organising a month-long summer coaching camp for girls upto 15 years of age. The camp will begin on May 15.

Victoria felicitated

The players of the second division league champions Victoria Sporting were felicitated Thursday. The BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya and national selector Ashok Malhotra were present during the felicitation. The average age of the players of the Victoria Sporting team is below 17 years.

Meanwhile, a plan of promoting two second division outfits to the first division is likely to be discussed in the CAB working committee meeting.

Women�s meet

Income Tax whipped Itika Memorial 11-0 in an IFA women�s league match Thursday. Matches between Rampur MS and Bidyut Sporting and Jubak Sangha and Youth Footballers ended in goalless draws.

Junior tennis

Madhurima Chowdhury, Surya Sankar Das and Azan Piperno moved into the semi-finals of the under-10 age-group Britannia junior age tennis tournament Thursday. In the under-14 category, Karan Dhillon, Ranjan Prasad, Biplab Das and Dharamveer Biswakarma reached the last four. Meanwhile, Farid Alam and Abdesh Roy won the boys� U-18 category.

Telegraph soccer

IISCO thrashed Tata Power 6-0 in the Telegraph Merchant�s Cupb soccer tournament at the CCFC ground Thursday.

Other results: Accel ICIM0 Magma Leasin 0; VGP Portfolios 2 Berger Paints 0; Telegraph Metro 2 Digital Think A 2; IISCO 6 Tata Power 0; Selvel A 5 Magors 2; Bayview Technologies 2 Tata B 1; J Thomas 3 Tata Tea 2;Sanjeevani Projects 2 Tata Consultancy Services 2; Hong Kong Bank 0 Mcnally Bharat 0; Carrit Moran 1 Sony India 0; HDFC Bank 0 CA-TCG Software 0; Infar 0 ITC Infotech 0, Allied Domecq 11 Marine Container Services 0


Calcutta, May 16: 
The Indian Jockeys� community is on warpath again, according to a well-informed source. Jockeys have threatened to disrupt proceedings on the opening day of the Bangalore summer racing season scheduled to start from Saturday. Jockeys are resenting the Turf Authorities of India�s (TAI�s) directives to enforce use of the shock-absorbing whips approved by the Minister of State, for Statistics and Programme Implementation, Maneka Gandhi.

These whips were approved by the minister vide the government notification dated January 8, 2002 specifying that only shock-absorbing whips would be permitted for use by the jockey during the races. �Jockey are playing with the two words,� said the source. �They are questioning the legality of the March 26, 2002, notification that makes the use of �shock-absorbing� whips mandatory for jockeys,� he added. Last year, Jockeys Association of India (JAI) had obtained an injunction in the Bombay Civil Court against the use of aircush whips but the order was vacated on March 1, 2001.

The vacation was automatic when the Performing Animals Amended Rules became law on January 8, 2002. But according to city jockeys their fellow-brothers would be flouting the orders of the civil court if they used shock-absorbing whips instead of aircush. Our Bangalore correspondent add: The JAI members of the association resolved at Thursday meeting that they would use the new shock absorbing whips only if Bangalore Turf Club furnished to each jockey individually an indemnity bond indemnifying each of them against any unforeseen legal consequences arising from the use of the new whip.


Udhagamandalam, May 16: 
The Robert Foley-trained four-year-old Ardent Flame claimed the Rose Garden Plate at the Udhagamandalam races on Thursday. Kariappa partnered the Conquering Hero- Miss Formidare daughter to victory.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Manjoor Plate 1,600m: (3-4-5) Star of Gaiety (Milan) 1; Resist The Force 2; Silent Fox 3. Won by: 2; 7; (1-45.3). Tote: Win Rs 11; Place: 13; 23; Quinella: 26; Tanala: 63. Fav: Resist The Force (4).

2. Mini Garden Plate 1,300m: (3-4-2) Minstrel Star (Abraham) 1; Legendary Lover 2; Fairy Regal 3. Won by: 4-1/2; 2-1/2; (1-25.7). Tote: Win Rs 11; Place: 10; 16; Quinella: 19; Tanala: 31. Fav: Minstrel Star (3).

3. Catchment Plate 1,600m: (2-4-3) Lady Ambassador (Abraham) 1; Crimson Crest 2; Carnival Princess 3. Won by: 4; 2-1/2; (1-47.8). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 13; 17; 19; Quinella: 83; Tanala: 919. Fav: Lady Ambassador (2).

4. Rose Garden Plate 1,400m: (2-4-6) Ardent Flame (Kariappa) 1; Queen�s Ransom 2; Future Fame 3. Won by: 3; 3/4; (1-30.1). Tote: Win Rs 13; Place: 11; 19; 25; Quinella: 97; Tanala: 335. Fav: Future Fame (6).

5. Park Side Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (10-3-2) Shanillo (Abraham) 1; Bruce Wilis 2; Sweet Story 3. Won by: 1-1/2; Nk; (1-30.4). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 13; 19; 17; Quinella: 83; Tanala: 187. Fav: Sweet Story (2).

6. Bickol Plate 1,300m: (9-5-8) Break The Silence (Hesnain) 1; Ganga Divine 2; Power Point 3. Won by: 3; 1-1/4; (1-25.1). Tote: Win Rs 35; Place: 16; 28; 28; Quinella: 390; Tanala: 1,328. Fav: Ganga Divine (5).

7. Thangadu Plate 1,200m: (2-8-6) Dreams of Glory (Mohan) 1; Magic of Love 2; Northern Fleet 3. Won by: 2-1/4; 1; (1-21.8). Tote: 11; Place: 11; 16; 16; Quinella: 40; Tanala: 91. Fav: Dreams of Glory (2).

8. Park Side Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (10-6-5) Phantom Quest (Kariappa) 1; Passionate Queen 2; Oracle King 3. Won by: 6; 1/2; (1-31). Tote: Win Rs 31; Place: 16; 20; 16; Quinella: 161; Tanala: 468. Fav: Oracle King (5).

9. Park Side Plate, Div-III 1,400m: (6-11-5) Major Attraction (Abraham) 1; Brightest Star 2; Runci Symbol 3. Won by: 2-1/2; 1/2; (1-33.1). Tote: Win Rs 163; Place: 31; 37; 12; Quinella: 425; Tanala: 3,157. Fav: Brightest Star (11).

Jackpot: Rs 43,250 (Carried over).

Treble: (i) Rs 258; (ii) Rs 940; (iii) Rs 1,376.

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