Goals, Drug Charges And Disappointments

Updated: Dec 29 2002, 05:30am hrs
Cricketer Of The Century
Wisden, purported to be the Bible of cricket, chose Kapil Dev for its Indian Cricketer Of The Century award during a function held at Lords, the mecca of cricket.

However, the choice was not an easy one with two other living legends of Indian cricket, Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, making it to the final round along with Mr Dev. While the peoples choice award went to Sachin Tendulkar, the jurys choice for the Wisden Indian Cricketer Of The Century was the Haryana Hurricane.

Mr Dev made his international debut at the age of 19 against Pakistan and went on to score 5,248 runs in Test cricket; he has also taken 434 wickets. At the one-day level, his score sheet reads 3,783 runs and 253 wickets. Under his captaincy, India humbled the mighty West Indies in 1983, to lift the World Cup for the first time in history.

Controversy In Busan
Indian long distance runner Sunita Rani who was stripped off the gold and bronze medals she won in the 14th Busan Asian Games in the 1,500 m and 5,000 m races, respectively, may get them back.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reportedly decided to ask the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Amateur Athletic Federation of India (AAFI) not to pursue with the case of doping charges against Ms Rani. IOC has found discrepancies in the lab test of her urine samples in Busan.

After both of Ms Sunitas B samples tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid, nandrolone, her medals were taken away.

Earlier, the one-man Sunil Salwan committee , set up by the AAFI to investigate the issue, had cleared Ms Sunita of the doping charges.

Ms Sunita had created a new Games record when she won the gold in the womens 1500 m. Indias Madhuri A Singh, who finished fourth in the 1500 m race in Busan, was given the bronze, while Tatiana Borisova of Kyrgyzstan, was given the gold.

Indian Cricketers Form Union
Once bitten, twice shy. Not so our Indian cricketers. For the third time, they stood united to form a players association, called the Indian Cricket Players Association (IPCA). This time, however, with a firmer determination and objectives.

Indias first cricket players body was formed in the mid-1970s with Sunil Gavaskar and Bishen Singh Bedi at the helm. More than a decade later, when Dilip Vengsarkar was the captain, another move to start the Association of Indian Cricketers (AIC) took firm shape with Kapil Dev at the helm. But both bodies went defunct all too soon.

The latest move gained momentum during the recent players terms row pertaining to the ICC Champions Trophy. Rains washed out the replayed final against Sri Lanka for the second day and India was declared joint winner with the host country.

Mansur Ali Khan Tiger Pataudi presides over the newly formed IPCA, while Arun Lal has been selected secretary cum spokesman for the association. In addition, it has seven founder members, including Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Ravi Shastri, Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid.

IPCAs first fund-raising programme at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Kolkata took off on an encouraging note with the association netting Rs 20 lakh during its first auction of memorabilia.

The Board for Cricket Control in India (BCCI), however, declined to recognise IPCA as its office bearers are not elected.

Andhra Pradesh Steals The National Show
When the Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi said that the 32nd National Games in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam were the best ever held so far, he was right on the mark. And the credit goes to the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, N Chandrababu Naidu.

After successfully bidding for the games less than two years ago, the state built a number of the state-of-the-art stadia which are as good as any in the world. Nagarjuna Construction was given the contract to build three stadia, including the Balayogi main athletic stadium, the Gachibowli indoor stadium, and the Gachibowli Aquatic Complex for swimming, and the Games Village in Gachibowli. And they were built with international precision and standards.

The availability of the international standard facilities, coupled with the Mr Naidus Going for Gold offerbig cash prizes gold medal winners for the stategave the sportspersons enough impetus to go the extra mile. This made the national sports event a grand success. Quite a few new, national records were set. On its part, the host state put up the best ever performance by topping the tally with a total of 229 medals including 89 gold medals.

Well, this seems to be only the beginning. Mr Naidu has a bigger dream to realise. He wants to give sportspersons from Andhra Pradesh the best facilities. And for this, he plans to hire foreign coaches to train them in these hi-tech stadia after the games are over. Besides, Andhra Pradesh is also planning to bid for the Afro-Asian Games now.

Stylish Brazil Win World Cup
Luiz Felipe Scolaris Brazil not only managed to lift the first FIFA World Cup of the century, defeating Germany 2-0, but also beat three records in doing so: It was the first tournament winner to notch up seven straight victories; It had a captain who played in his third consecutive final; And it had a striker who was the first to score more than six goals in the final stages since the 1974 World Cup held in Germany.

Mr Scolaris team won the trophy for the fifth time for Brazil with the maximum number of points, an honour shared with their predecessors of 1970 (six wins out of six), Italy in 1938 and Uruguay in 1930 (both with four).

Marcos Moraise Cafu, Brazils captain and eternal right, took part in his third consecutive FIFA World Cup Final, a first-ever in the history of the competition. Striker Ronaldo created history by breaking the six-goal jinx. Not only did he hit the net in six of Brazils seven matches, he was also the first leading scorer in the FIFA World Cup to break the six-goal mark since Polands Gregorsz Lato notched up six in Germany in 1974.

Four Titles For Anand
Indian chess maestro Vishwanathan Anand added a fourth world level title to his collection this year by winning the Sixth Corsica Open Chess Championship in Basita, France. He humbled his ace rival, Anatoly Karpov, to lift the title.

Earlier in May, Mr Anand won the Eurotel World Chess Champion title in Prague, followed by the Chess Classic of Mainz title in July, the World Cup in Hyderabad in October and finally the Corsica Open.

Mr Anand, who had lost the FIDE World Championships final to Mr Karpov in 1998, has now beaten the Russian in their last two finals at the Eurotel Championships in Prague and Corsica. Mr Anand became the first player to win the title three times in a row.