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‘Reconditioning’ of ball is 

an idea worth debating









It would tantamount to cheating

Should definitely be not allowed


all tampering, even within limits, should definitely not

be allowed. If you find a certain subject difficult in

school or college, you try and find ways to crack it with

extra effort. You do not seek permission for passing marks to

be brought down from 40 to 25! Similarly, even though the

game has become somewhat tough for the bowler it doesn’t

necessarily mean that ball tampering should be the solution.

Even though the game may not be that fair between the

bowlers and batsmen, it doesn’t tamper the competitiveness

between the teams on the whole. So, even while the bats have

got heavier and chunkier, we haven’t resorted to aluminium

bats yet. Have we?


here is no doubt that over the years cricket has become a

batsman's game; almost every rule change has made the

bowler's life that much tougher. The shorter formats, with

restrictions on the number of overs and bouncers, exemplifies this

the best. But that does not mean bowlers should be allowed to

recondition the ball or tamper with it. That would tantamount to

cheating. More importantly, there is no guarantee that they will

stay within the confines of what is legitimately allowed; if they

don't do it now, why would they if they are given the leeway?

It's, of course, important to even out the contest between bat

and ball. But that can easily be done by tweaking rules the right

way, by giving the bowler an equal chance. The fast bowler is the

most exciting facet of the game. He must be restored to his

previous glory. Now, he is next to nothing because most of his

weapons have been blunted. Similarly, pitches must have

something for the bowlers. Not just the first hour of a Test but all

through the match at some level.

Sadly, television channels who don’t want the match to finish

sooner than the last over, don't want this. They are being

allowed to dictate the terms to the detriment of the game. 


or cricket to remain a popular and an interesting game at

all times, it is critical to maintain a good balance between

bat and ball. Unfortunately this is not the case in most

international matches that we see today, as the balance is

heavily in favour of the batsmen, especially in the

subcontinent. As a general rule, pitches have become too flat

for the bowlers to have any impact at all.

So to allow some ‘reconditioning’ of the ball, within strict

limits, is an idea worth debating. Why don't we debate the

allowance of seam lifting with the fingers, deliberate

roughening of the surface to get reverse swing, so that the

bowlers get something in their favour on dead pitches to make

the game more interesting and fair for both parties ? The bats

for the batsmen have got heavier and chunkier every year,

how about some leeway for the bowlers with the ball ? 

Baku (Azerbaijan): Former

world champion Abbos

Atoyev and Commonwealth

Games gold-medallist Patrick

Gallagher were among the five

international pugilists that

the World Series of Boxing’s

Indian franchise — Mumbai

Fighters — picked up in a draft

order conducted by the sport’s

governing body AIBA. 

The World Series of Box-

ing draft was held during the

rest day of World Champion-

ships on Thursday, which has

already seen 12 WSB boxers

qualify for the 2012 London

Olympic Games through the


It was primarily held for

the Mumbai Fighters and the

Leipzig Leopards from Ger-

many. “Amatuer International

Boxing Association president

and WSB Chairman, Ching-

Kuo Wu, signed a Declaration

of Cooperation with Jurgen

Kyas from the German Boxing

Federation and Marco

Schulze, general manager of

Leipzig Leopards,” AIBA said

in a statement.

Fifteen months after the

first international draft was

held in London, where 87 in-

ternational boxers were cho-

sen to fill the required quota of

non-national squad members,

25 more were again drafted

from a list of 67 available ath-

letes representing almost 30

countries from all five conti-


The draft was presided

over by Wu in front of the Na-

tional Federations’ represen-

tatives and the Mumbai Fight-

ers managed to rope in some of

the top names in international


Atoyev is currently the

world number one in the mid-

dleweight division. The Uzbek

is an old nemesis of India’s

Olympic and World Cham-

pionship bronze-medallist Vi-

jender Singh, having defeated

him in the previous World

Championships before being

beaten in the Asian Games. 


Boxers drafted by Mumbai


Abbos Atoyev (Uzb,

middleweight 73kg), Damian

Hooper (Aus, middleweight 73kg),

Patrick Gallagher (Ire, middle-

weight 73kg), Sardor Begaliyev

(Uzb, light heavyweight 85kg),

Raymond Moylett (Ire, lightweight



Fighters pick

CWG champ


Baku: India’s teenaged boxing

sensation Vikas Krishan’s dream

run at the World Championships

came to an end as he lost his welter-

weight (69kg) semifinal bout to Uk-

raine’s Taras Shelestyuk to settle

for bronze on Friday.

Up against the European

Championship bronze-medallist,

the 19-year-old Vikas went down

12-15 as Ukrainian boxers dom-

inated action with all five of the

country’s semi-finalists making it

through to the title-round. Besides

Shelestyuk, the other from his

country to make the finals were

Vasyl Lomachenko in the light-

weight, Denys Berinchyk in the

light welterweight, Ievgen Khy-

trov in middleweight and Ole-

ksandr Usyk in heavyweight to

give their team a solid chance to

top the medals table.

Vikas, an Asian Games gold

medallist, matched the bronze-

medal winning feat of Olympian

Vijender Singh at the worlds, and

in the process, became the young-

est Indian to bag a medal at this

mega event.

Facing a stronger rival, Vikas

staved off an early assault but the

sheer power of Shelestyuk’s hooks

and uppercuts forced him to open

up which allowed the Ukrainian to

connect a few telling jabs.

Strength proved to be a key fac-

tor as Vikas found it tough to cope

with his muscular rival, who

threw caution to the wind and

fought aggressively to lead 4-2 in

the opening round.

In the second round, Vikas

changed strategy and tried keep-

ing Shelestyuk at bay by fighting

from a distance, but the Ukrai-

nian’s precision was hard to deal

with for the Indian, whose ribcage

became the target of some power-

ful bodyblows.

The round ended with the Uk-

rainian up 10-6 and it would have

required a miraculous effort from

the Indian to turn the deficit

around. But the guile and adapt-

ability which Vikas showed in his

earlier bouts was missing against

an opponent focussed on attack-


The Indian was much more pre-

cise with his punches in the final

round, but this time the Ukrainian

kept defended well to deny the In-

dian. Even though Vikas managed

to win the last round 6-5, it could

not wipe off the overall deficit.

Shelestyuk will face Serik Sapi-

yev of Kazakhstan, who left his

Lithuanian rival Egidijus Kava-

liauskas with a bloodied nose in

the first round itself, forcing him

to retire at the end of the opening

three minutes. The Kazakh was

leading 8-2 when the Lithuanian

corner decided to concede the


Beijing Olympic light fly-

weight champion Zou Shiming of

China eased into the deciding bout

with a convincing 15-8 win over

Russian fourth seed David Ayrape-

tyan. In the final he will face Asian

champion Jong Hoon Shin of

South Korea, who upset reigning

world champion, Mongolia’s Ser-

damba Purevdorj, 20-11.

The flyweight category favou-

rite, European champion Misha

Aloyan of Russia, confirmed his

status beating US boxer Rau Shee

Warren 17-13 to set up a clash with

Wales’ European champion An-

drew Selby, who outclassed Jasur-

bek Latipov of Uzbekistan 21-15.

Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez Estra-

da, the bantamweight cadet world

champion and Pan-American

qualifying tournament winner,

won his last semifinal bout with

Tadjikistan’s Anvar Yunusov 18-


England’s Luke Campbell saw

off Irishman John Joe Nevin 12-12

courtesy of the referees decision

in the other semi-final.

Japan’s surprise middleweight

semi-finalist Ryota Murata, who

upset the world champion Abbos

Atoev in his campaign-opening

bout here, gained a final spot with

a solid 24-11 win over Brazilian Es-

quiva Falcao Florentino.

Cuba’s Julio De La Cruz Peraza

battled into the final through a

tough bout with the reigning world

champion Egor Mekhontsev, 

Russian team captain, winning 



Indian Teenager Loses To Shelestyuk As All 5 Ukrainians Make Finals

Vikas settles for bronze

Vikas Krishnan (left) locked in a duel with Ukraine's Taras Shelestyuk at the

World Championships in Baku on Friday




New Delhi: Hockey India up-

ped the ante against the Indian

Hockey Federation (IHF) on

Friday by announcing a new

hockey league while claiming

that IHF’s World Series Hockey

is not sanctioned by the Inter-

national Hockey Federation

(FIH). HI also chose to accuse a

“desperate” IHF of indulging

in an “anti-national” cam-


This development comes at

a time when efforts are on to

clear the mess in the adminis-

tration of the game in the coun-

try. While the sports ministry

mediated a negotiation be-

tween the two bodies a couple of

months back, the agreement

was not accepted by FIH, which

has given recognition to only

HI. The warring parties are

currently in talks with the Indi-

an Olympic Association (IOA)

to work out a solution.

In a statement, the HI said

that its event, which will be

held over a period of 45 days

from 2013, will be under the ae-

gis of FIH and warned “serious

implications” for players and

officials participating in 

the WSH.

“This event promoted by In-

dian Hockey Federation is un-

sanctioned by FIH and has seri-

ous implications for both

players and officials who par-

ticipate in this unsanctioned

event,” said the statement.

Strangely, FIH is believed to

have given partial sanction to

the event. 

The FIH had said a couple of

months back that players could

figure in the $3 million WSH

provided they had no national

or contractual obligations.

“FIH has been requested for

a 45-day window in their calen-

dar for this event and also not to

conduct any other tournament

during this period. 

“The teams will be owned

by franchisees and matches

will be played on a home and

away basis as in the IPL cricket

format. This league shall be

held annually and will be part

of the FIH sanctioned events,”

HI said in a statement.

HI also took a swipe at the

IHF calling India's failure to

qualify for the Olympics for the

first time in 2008 as a “national


“Now IHF is hell bent on

sabotaging India’s qualifica-

tion chances for the London

Olympic Games in 2012. It is

desperately trying to throw

bait to woo the players and offi-

cials for the WSH, fully aware

that this is an unsanctioned

FIH event which attracts penal-

ties and suspensions for viola-


In addition, the dates for

WSH League in December

2011–January 2012 have been

deliberately kept, so that it

clashes with the national

coaching camps which will be

in progress at this time in prep-

aration for the Olympic Quali-

fiers. This is nothing but a bla-

tant anti-national campaign by

IHF to ensure the slow poison-

ing of Indian hockey,” the state-

ment said.

HI announces


hockey league



New Delhi: He may have

had to settle for a bronze

medal after losing in the

semifinal but teenaged Indi-

an boxer Vikas Krishan said

on Friday that he was satis-

fied with how he performed

against older and experi-

enced rivals in his World

Championships debut in Ba-

ku, Azerbaijan.

Vikas, an Asian Games

gold-medallist in light-

weight (60kg) division,

switched to welterweight

just two months before the

World Championships, his

debut event in the new cate-

gory. “I am very satisfied

with my performance as I

competed against some very

tough guys in my draw and

given that it was my debut

event in the welterweight di-

vision, I will happily take

this bronze medal,” Vikas

said from Baku.

The Haryana lad, a for-

mer youth world champion,

said he felt a tad tired during

his semifinal against his

muscular Ukrainian rival.

“I was tired because jump-

ing a couple of divisions and

adjusting to it is no easy

task. I know I could have per-

formed better but every-

thing is God’s will and if he

wanted a bronze for me, I’ll

take it,” said the teenager,

who has won admiration for

his tactful boxing.

“My rival today was a

mature guy, who kept attack-

ing me, drained my energy. I

tried very hard in the first

two rounds to work out a

counter-strategy but it was

not to be my day. In the final

round, I took things as they

came,” said the boxer, who

won the final round 6-5

which unfortunately wasn’t


“It has been a fantastic

learning experience and I

am sure I will be going a step

further when I compete in

this event the next time. The

big achievement here is that

I have qualified for the

Olympics and I can't be hap-

pier because of that,” he


National coach Gurbax

Singh Sandhu was all praise

for the teen, saying he is a fu-

ture world champion.

“His ability belies his

age, I am sure he will be a

world champion the next

time,” said Sandhu.

“Even overall, I am very

happy with my performance

because four of my boxers

(Vikas, L Devendro Singh,

Jai Bhagwan and Manoj Ku-

mar) qualified for the Olym-

pics by reaching quarterfi-

nals. It's a laudable

performance and I am proud

of them,” he added. 


‘Tired’ Vikas satisfied with

Baku performance

I know I could

have perform-

ed better but

everything is

God’s will and if

he wanted a

bronze for me, I’ll

take it


New Delhi

: Ace diver

Ramanand Sharma on

Friday added second gold

to India’s kitty at the 7th

AASF Asian Age Group

Championships in

Indonesia. Sharma won 3m

spring board by scoring 404

points. It is for the first time

that an Indian diver has

clinched gold at the

championship. Meanwhile,

Indian women’s water polo

team advanced to the

second round defeating

Thailand 9-5. Top scorers

for India were Archa AA 3

(goals), J Sree Kutty 2 and

Divya V, Manasi Gowade,

Pratiksha Tayade, and

Mrudula VN scored a goal



Ramanand wins

another gold

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