�Sachin will come good sooner than later�
MacLaurin backtracked after testing support base
Manish Sharma champion
Md. Sp. manage scrappy win
In The City
Bangalore Racing/ Altenburg for Governor�s Cup
Bangalore Racing/ Antequera posts upset win
Calcutta Racing/ Amjad Khan suspended
Calcutta Racing/ Rescue Act, Alternator shine

Worcester, Aug. 1: 
�I know a lot of people are sitting in judgement over Sachin Tendulkar, but what he needs most is some positive �reinforcement.� Indeed, more than either you or me wanting him to succeed, Sachin himself wishes to do so. Sooner not later, he will come good.� That, in clear terms, is the firm belief of India coach John Wright.

Sachin scored 16 and 12 in the first Test, at Lord�s, which India lost by 170 runs.

In fact, talking to The Telegraph Thursday morning, Wright didn�t quite agree the pressure on Sachin is almost unbearable. �He is equipped to handle it... While Sachin definitely wasn�t his usual self in the first innings, he was coming into his own in the second when he fell in a good over from Matthew Hoggard who, in my opinion, was Man of the Match.�

Wright�s message, then, is: Please leave Sachin alone.

Speaking generally, Wright felt his players must learn to �appreciate critical situations� and respond suitably. As he put it: �Man to man, we compare very favourably. Yet, such comparisons alone don�t mean anything... Essentially, after conceding ground, we�ve got to quickly regain initiative � it could either be with bat or ball.�

Wright added: �Making the most of being at the top, in whatever phase of the match, is half the battle won... Here, I�ve always maintained self-belief plays a huge part. After all, when a position of strength has been reached, you�ve got to believe you can consolidate. Otherwise... It�s important, too, to assess what the opposition wishes you to do. A different path has to be taken.�

Citing a Lord�s example, Wright talked about Virender Sehwag�s dismissal late on the second day, which made it 128 for two. As it turned out, India lost another wicket before stumps (Ashish Nehra�s), in effect drawing the curtain on whatever challenge could have been mounted.

For his part, Wright has been interacting with players one-to-one. �I�ve been telling those who played the first Test that our effort wasn�t good enough... That our game has to be lifted, that there must be plenty of passion. More than talent and skill, it�s now a test of character.�

Wright continued: �The last time we beat England (Mohali, last December), Deep Dasgupta got a hundred. Clearly, there�s a lesson in that: At least one among the top four must get a three-figure knock... We can only move forward from there.�

Significantly, Wright accepts that spin is our top strength in bowling but, then, he�s not fully convinced we should always field both Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. �Things would be a lot easier if we had somebody to contribute with the bat and also be an effective third seamer...�

Despite that hundred at Lord�s, Ajit Agarkar doesn�t strictly fit the bill. Apparently, Sanjay Bangar will be closely watched in the already truncated match against Worcestershire, at New Roads.

Losing the first two days to the weather isn�t the build-up the Indians were looking at.

[The loss, on Wednesday and Thursday, has been the County�s too � around � 10,000 was the projected gate receipts over four days. With not a ball bowled in the first two, that figure has to be revised.]

Meanwhile, thanks to Wright�s efforts, Mohammed Kaif may get a �few games� with a County second XI. He will, at least, be somewhat match-fit. Dinesh Mongia, the other �addition� to the Test squad, is recovering from an ankle injury.


Worcester, Aug. 1: 
Lord Ian MacLaurin, who has chosen not to seek another term as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman, did an informal assessment of his support base before taking the decision Wednesday.

According to The Telegraph�s sources, it�s only when Lord MacLaurin realised he wouldn�t come through an election, that he decided not to sit in the chairman�s chair beyond six years. Besides the 18 Counties, the MCC and the Minor Counties (both one vote each) will determine Lord MacLaurin�s successor.

Apparently, Lord MacLaurin had been �visiting� the Counties, in recent weeks, to make an on-the-spot assessment. Obviously, what he learnt first-hand couldn�t have been very encouraging.

In any case, Surrey chairman Michael Soper has already announced his candidature. Soper, one learns, has been calling for �more power� to the Counties. Lord MacLaurin, incidentally, �antagonised� them by seeking to make the ECB Office � next to the Indoor School at Lord�s � �all powerful.�

Specifically, the Counties labelled Lord MacLaurin as too much of a radical.

The frontrunner to succeed Lord MacLaurin, though, may well be ECB vice-chairman David Morgan. It�s not official, but he is almost sure to file his nomination. Sources point out that in the County circles �all the ECB�s recent pluses� have been credited to Morgan. He shouldn�t, then, be short on support.

Another name doing the rounds (briefly reported in these columns Thursday) is that of Tony Lewis, a former England captain and MCC president. Lewis has the stature, yes, but hasn�t been in much contact with the Counties. Yet, he is regarded a �traditionalist� and, so, will definitely have backers.

However, Lewis� disadvantage could be that he hasn�t been lobbying. That somebody like Soper is already into overdrive. Nominations are to be filed between August 6-27, while ballots are slated to be cast on August 29.


Jamshedpur, Aug. 1: 
Manish Sharma of Carmel High School, Chakradharpur won the third The Telegraph Schools� Chess championship Thursday. He received a purse of Rs 3000 and a glittering trophy.

The meet, organised by Tata Steel in association withAlekhine Chess Club and presented by Horlicks, was held at the Residential Wing of JRD Tata Sports Complex.

Local Motilal Nehru Public School bagged the Best School Trophy with 33 points

Manish capitalised on Satish Kumar�s (R C Singh School) rash play in the French Defence Exchange Variation. Manish playing white won a pawn on 20th move sufficient to not only win the game in 45 moves but also the championship with the score of 10 points out of a possible 11.

Priya Ratnam of Saran Central School played a safe 30-move draw against Hitesh Deva of Loyola to occupy the fifth spot which enabled her to book a berth in the finals in Calcutta to be held later this month. Hitesh finished ninth in the final standing.

Himanshu Shekhar Sharma of Town High School, Munger finished fourth.The dark horse of the meet Ved Prakash, Rajakiya Madhya Vidyalaya, Patna got the third position by agreeing to a draw with second seed Akash Kusum of Motilal Nehru Public School, Jamshedpur. Akash was runners- up.

The five players who will play the finals in Calcutta are Manish, Akash, Ved Prakash, Himanshu Shekhar and Priya Ratnam.


1.Manish Sharma, Carmel High, Chakradharpur (10 points plus Rs 3,000). 2.Akash Kusum, Motilal Nehru, Jsr.(9 points plus Rs. 2,250). 3.Ved Prakash Rajakiya Madhya Vidyalaya, Patna (9). 4.Himanshu Shekhar Sharma, Town High, Munger (9). 5.Priya Ratnam, Saran Central, Chhapra (8.5). 6.Satish Kumar, R C Singh HS, Jsr.(8.5). 7.Arin Biswas, SE Rly Mixed English, Ckp (8.5). 8.Gyanendra Singh, Motilal Nehru, Jsr. (8.5). 9.Hitesh Deva, Loyola, Jsr. (8.5). 10.Anirban Pati, Carmel Junior College, Jsr. (8.5).


Calcutta, Aug. 1: 
A good deal of publicity had preceded Mohammedan Sporting resurrection, so to say, this season, a the initial matches of the IFA League Super Division seemed to say that this was a team on its way back to those glory days.

At home, Thursday, though, Mohammed Habeeb�s wards� performance level was anything but satisfactory. The trouble they had through the match in clinging onto a fifth-minute Dipendu Biswas strike, did little to show the team in a favourable light.

It was a scrappy tie, unnecessarily rough, and aided with some incredibly inept refereeing, did plumb new depths on a soggy ground. That was the other problem. The club tent is new, a section of the stands is new, the team is new, but the ground remains a disaster. One spell of sharp showers, and the surface becomes unfit for any level of decent football.

There was no decent soccer in view Thursday. The long balls came to the rescue in forward movement and it was soon evident that Ever-Ready had forgotten to recruit a defence line. A makeshift line at the back could hardly hold back the Serikis and the Adikunles who used their physique to advantage.

Amit Das, too was in view, way past his prime, yet necessary in the halfline. In the fifth minute he passed one to Seriki whose centre was headed down to manageable levels by Rahim Nabi. Dipendu, at the goalmouth, had only to head in.

The match was scrappy from the start. There was no gameplan on either side except to try and use a bit of the flanks and lob into the goalmouth, expecting a set-piece would work. They did not.

The Mohammedan Sporting half line functioned, but their effectiveness will probably be rightly visible in some other match, versus some other team. Seriki is a major factor in the Mohammedan Sporting attacks, and this dependence could narrow down the options of coach Habeeb. In the 11th minute a Seriki lob to goal was saved for a corner by goalkeeper Debarshi Ghatak.

Habib Adikunle has stuff in his legs, but there is a rumour that he could be shading an injury or two. If not, he will have proved a decent buy for the team, especially on a dry surface. That is if Habeeb�s men resort to less body-play. There were too many fouls today, and if not for the ineptness of referee Debashis Mishra, there could have been hell to pay. Possibly there is a reason to it, as shown by the steadily slowing down of the home team. There could be a stamina problem in the team, hence the urgency for the early rush.

Then, in the 15th minute, the farce descended. A lob by Amit Das of Ever-Ready floated over the Mohammedan Sporting bar and landed into the goal through a tear in the roof of the netting. Goalkeeper Prasanta Dora was totally flummoxed, so were all players. But the referee, without having been near the scene of the action, blew for goal.

The referee did change his decision after consulting the referee, but that was signal for the Ever-Ready players to rush in and demand that the goal be given. It was chaos. Referee Mishra was visibly at a total loss of ideas. He was running around, simply not knowing what to do. It was rather comical. Players intervened and created a chaos, coaches intervened and created more chaos; officials intervened and there were missiles from the stands, and the referee was complaining to the police.

The match started, then stopped again, and after a gap of five-six minutes, the referee had the sense to resume onfield activity. At the most six minutes had been lost. The referee added 12 minutes of lost time to the second session.

In all, a rather forgettable day.


Mohammedan Sporting: Prasanta Dora, Reaz-ul Islam, Hussein Mustafi, Insan Ali, Biswanath Mondal, Rahim Nabi (Arunava Sarkar, 65), Amit Das (Najim-ul Haq, 80), Habib Adikunle, Khemtang Paite (Bhuvan Mohan Joshi, 51), Dipendu Biswas, Abdulateef Seriki.

Ever-Ready: Debarshi Ghatak, Dipankar Roy, Sandipan das, Anupam Sarkar, Bivash sarkar, Madhusudhan Majumdar, Md Rafique *Arup sarkar, 88), Debraj Chatterjee (Surajit Chakraborty, 49), Bhabani Mohanty, Amit das, Suman Ghosh (Sariful Islam, 77).

Referee: Debashis Mishra.



Anirban champion

Anirban Tarafdar emerged champion Thursday in the J.M. Banerjee Memorial Open table tennis meet at the Khudiram Anushilan Kendra. In the final he beat Salankara Mahalanobis, the girl who had come up from the mixed field into the final, 11-4, 11-7, 11-4.

Among the veterans, Nacchu Mukherjee beat Dilip Mukherjee 11-9, 11-6, 11-5 in the over-50 final, while Subrata De beat Subhaseshwar Gupta 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 in the over-40s� final. In the over-60s final Samaresh Chowdhury beat Ashok Pyne 3-0.

The Bengal �Test� team

The Bengal Table Tennis Association Thursday announced the state squad for the �Test� series between the top three state teams of the country. The first team is for the Nasik and Pune matches versus Maharashtra between Monday and August 11. The team leaves station Saturday. The series caries a total cash award of nearly Rs 25,000.

The release says that the team does not represent Bengal�s full strength since some players were not released by the SAI and by Siliguri Academy.


U-17 Boys: Soumyajit Sarkar, Chiranjib Chowdhury, Avijit Roy.

U-17 Girls: Anusree Saha, Sayantika Kundu, Ria Dasgupta.

U-14 boys: Soumya Nandi, Anirban Roychowdhury, Subham Kundu.

U-14 girls: Sabana Parveen, Siumi Mondal, Sweta Modak.

Non-playing captain: Dipak Ghosh.

Coach: Amitava Saha.

Manager: Ashes Sanyal.

Today in Sport

TABLE TENNIS: Kalyan Jayant meet at Khudiram Anushilan Kendra � Sub-junior boys� events from 2pm.

FOOTBALL: CFL Super Division � Eastern Railway vs FCI (Mohun Bagan).

1st div. Gr. A: Milan Bithee vs Wari AC (SAI-III), Calcutta Customs vs Sonali Shibir (SAI -II), Police AC vs Peerless (Md. Sp.), Kidderpore vs Md AC (Rabindra Sarobar), ECL vs City (Tarun Sangha), Rajasthan vs Kalighat (Howrah).

Gr. B: Salkia Fds vs Victoria (SAP-I). All matches from 3.30 pm.


Bangalore, Aug. 1: 
The two renowned stayers Appeaser and Altenburg stand out best in the field of eight vying for the 2,400m Governor�s Cup, the main attraction in the long drawn 11-event race-card on Friday, the concluding day of the summer meet.here

The two horses are in the pink of condition and going by their past meetings, there is little to choose from between them. In a toss-up, the one who is tipped to come out ahead by a thin edge is the Darius Byramji-ward Altenburg. Cristopher Alford, who is having a fruitful season this summer, partners the five-year-old by Razeen out of Try Kola.


12.30 pm: Zaran 1. The Soothsayer 2. Princess Cut 3.

1 pm: Flying Spur 1. Advertorial 2. All Rainbows 3.

1.30 pm: Argento 1. Anzac 2. Little Genny 3.

2 pm: Good Hope 1. Alto 2. Franco Leone 3.

2.30 pm: Dil Maangemore 1. Spark of Love 2. Aerographer 3.

3 pm: Cool Camp 1. Star Diamond 2. Tribal Dance 3.

3.30 pm: Arcaro 1. Kingston Heath 2. Belief 3.

4 pm: Altenburg 1. Appeaser 2. Calorescence 3.

4.30 pm: Gypsie�s Wish 1. Auchterarder 2. Win Ameen 3.

5 pm: Mythical Star 1. Firecrest 2. Air Strike 3.

5.30 pm: Crystal Delight 1. Always Dancing 2. Fugleman 3.

Day�s Best: Mythical Star

Double: Dil Maangemore & Arcaro


Bangalore, Aug. 1: 
Ridden by Cristopher Alford, Antequera from Darius Byramji�s yard, upset the applecart of the public-choice Noble Executive in the K. N. Chennabasappa Memorial Cup on Thursday, the penultimate meeting of the Bangalore summer season.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Mystic Memory Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (7-5-11) Bay of Angels (Shroff) 1; Cardinal Rule 2; Katina 3. Won by: 5-1/4; 3; (1-15.9). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 10; 27; 17; Quinella: 132; Shp: 78; Tanala: 415. Fav: Bay of Angels (7).

2. Ministrella Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (3-8-11) Generic Emperor (Srinath) 1; Silver Victress 2; Kia Ora 3. Won by: 3-1/2; 1-1/4; (1-28.1). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place 12;51; 18; Quinella: 200; Shp: 93; Tanala: 732. Fav: Generic Emperor (3).

3. Azhar Plate 1,200m: (10-3-6) Nuraaz (Appu) 1; Suhasini 2; Tina�s Turn 3. Won by: 3/4; 3/4; (1-17.9). Tote: Win Rs 31; Place: 14; 28; 15; Quinella: 88; Shp: 62; Tanala: 478. Fav: Nuraaz (10).

4. Ministrella Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (2-10-5) Beat It Dude (R. Marshall) 1; Talented Lady 2; Red Zeppelin 3. Won by: 1-1/2; 3/4; (1-27.8). Tote: Win Rs 65; Place: 17; 24; 30; Quinella: 291; Shp: 63; Tanala: 2,000. Fav: Fly For Fame (9).

5. Mystic Memory Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (3-10-5) Pelf (I. Chisty) 1; Cherry Blue 2; Touch of Frost 3. Won by: 1/2; 4-1/4; (1-16.4). Tote: Win Rs 70; Place: 17; 21; 24; Quinella: 226; Shp: 51; Tanala: 3,357. Fav: San Antonio (1).

6. Ruia Stud Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (9-11-10) Regal Society (Prakash) 1; Angeles 2; Swinging Conquest 3. Won by: 1-1/2; Hd; (1-14.8). Tote: Win Rs 43; Place: 18; 17; 73; Quinella: 75; Shp: 56; Tanala: 3,558. Fav: Go Honey Go (6).

7. Ministerial Plate 2,400m: (2-6-7) Foolish Pursuit (Rajesh) 1; Agnivarsh 2; Royal Contender 3. Won by: 2; 6-1/2; (2-38.9). Tote: Win Rs 62; Place: 21; 22; 17; Quinella: 229; Shp: 70; Tanala: 1,053. Fav: Dream Supreme (1).

8. K. N. Chennabasappa Memorial Cup 1,400m: (10-9-8) Antequera (C. Alford) 1; Noble Executive 2; Affined 3. Won by: 1/2; 1-3/4; (1-26.8). Tote: Win Rs 53; Place: 17; 13; 31; Quinella: 38; Shp: 33; Tanala: 535. Fav: Noble Executive (9).

9. Maj. Newton Davis Memorial Cup 1,600m: (8-6-2) Rose Garden (Appu) 1; Baffert 2; Twin Star 3. Won by: 3/4; 3-3/4; (1-40). Tote: Win Rs 51; Place: 15; 14; 16; Quinella: 30; Shp: 44; Tanala: 270. Fav: Baffert (6).

10. Ruia Stud Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (5-9-2) Rio Tinto (J. Christopher) 1; Strides of Fire 2; Brora 3. Won by: 1-3/4; 2-1/4; (1-15.1). Tote: Win Rs 44; Place: 19; 51; 31; Quinella: 470; Shp: 124; Tanala: 12,981. Fav: Kimera (1).

Jackpot: Rs 2,17,115 (Carried over); (C) Rs 5,583.

Treble: (i) Rs 275; (ii) Rs 1,571; (iii) Rs 1,521.


Calcutta, Aug. 1: 
Rutherford apart, Amjad Khan was the other apprentice jockey who was suspended by the RCTC stewards on Wednesday. The enquiry had been pending since last week. Amjad was found to be guilty for unsatisfactory riding of Zuhaak in the Wheels Handicap on July 24. He is stood down for six race meetings between August 10 and September 11.

The pending enquiry, however, posed another kind of problem as the apprentice had come equipped with a doctor�s note certifying him in precarious condition on the July 24 evening. Although stewards did not pay much heed to medical note, they have, however, it was learnt, appreciated the need to hold future enquiries on the day of the incident itself.


Calcutta, Aug. 1: 
Rescue Act, Alternator and Aiberni.were impressive from among the following horses seen exercising today morning:

Outer sand track

800m: Actuate (Surender) in 1-3s; (400m) 30s.Actable (Rb) and Assailer (Rb) in 1-2s; (400m) 31s. Former was a distance better. Abridge (Rb) in 1-2s; (400m) 31s.

600m: Artiness (Shanker) and Calamint (Rb) in 43s; (400m) 48s. They were level and they moved well. Aliquant (Rb) and Accredit (Rb) in 47s; (400m) 29s. They were level and they were easy.

Monsoon track

1,000m: Aiberni (Rabani) in 1-11s; (400m) 24s. Good. Annotate (Islam) and Ardency (Rabani) in 1-9; (400m) 25s. They were level and they were handy.

800m: Rescue Act (Islam) and Alternator (Rabani) in 51s; (400m) 24s. They were level and they impressed. Clarice Cliff (Islam) in 1-2s; (400m) 28s.


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