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Sports News

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Compiled by SDNP

Head lines

Akram against ban on Rafique

Sikder N Hoque, The Bangladesh Observer

Former Bangladesh skipper Akram Khan suggested to impose fine rather than speculated ban or suspension in the greater interest of Bangladesh cricket.

The elegant right hander, who led Bangladesh’s journey to the first ICC World Cup, said, “He is an asset Bangladesh cricket is concerned.”

He said, “The board should be careful in taking any rigid decision on Rafique, and review the merit and demerit of Bangladesh cricket at this moment.”

Rafique was sent back from Harare on Saturday accusing him of breaching the code of conduct. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) gave no details of allegations.

”He has still a lot to give to Bangladesh cricket,” said Akram in a talk-show on Chennel I on Tuesday.

The former Bangladesh captain admitted that discipline in the team is a must and said, “This is not the first time. Such kind of rows were happened in the past, but passed off silently.”

 “If Rafique is found guilty, he should be punished—that is not at the cost of country’s cricket.”

He suggested to impose fine on him.

Akram Khan retired from international cricket in 2003 with scoring 976 runs including five half centuries in 44 ODI’s while he has a rich statistics in first class cricket of 2117 runs from 43 matches.

Except ODI’s and first class matches, the pride of the port-city scored 259 runs in his eight tests.

Some other former cricketers also suggested similarly and asked the board to take decision on Rafique carefully. 

Earlier on Saturday, the Bangladesh team management took the action against the country's leading wicket-taker and boarded in to the earliest available flight after reportedly involving in a row with captain Habibul Bashar on Saturday.

Akram said the third ODI with Zimbabwe could come Bangladesh’s favour, If Rafique was played.

It was learnt that Rafique became excited after Bashar invited the Zimbabwean spinner Raymond Price and asked him to deliver some tips to Manjarul Rana when both teams were practicing for the last time in Harare.

Meanwhile, the BCB issued a statement on Sunday confirming Rafique's early departure for a 'breach of the code of conduct'.

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Mini-handball begins today

Sports Correspondent, The Bangladesh Observer

The Sunnydale Mini Handball Tournament organised by Bangladesh Handball Federation (BHF) begins at Dhanmondi Women’s Complex ground today.

State Minister for Youth and Sports Fazlur rahman will inaugurate the tournament as the chirf guest. “Split into two groups, a total of 10 schools from the capital will take part in the five-day tournament,” BHF General Secretary Asaduzzaman Kohinoor told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday.

Teacher in Charge of sports of the sponsors Sunnydale Yasmin Habib was also present on the occation.The schools are – Group A – Sunnydale, Rahmatullah High School, Radiant International School, Hope International and Dhanmondi Tutorial -- Group B – BIS, Saint Jude’s International, BAF Shaheen Collage and Green Herald.

Rifles college sports held

Sports Corespondent

The two-day long Inter House Sports Competition 2004 of Birshresto Munshi Abdur Rouf Rifles College concluded on Wednesday.

A total of 395 students of the college took part in 30 events.

Dr. Mohammad Shahidullah House and Dr. Kudrat-e-Khuda House became champions and runners-up respectively.

Major General Md. Jahangir Alam Chowdhury, Director General of Bangladesh Rifles and chairman of the governing  body of the college present as chief guest.

Later prizes were distributed among the winners.

Earlier on Tuesday the sports meet was inaugurated by Brig. General Md. Ibrahim Khalil, the Deputy General of Bangladesh Rifles and Vice-Chairman of the college governing body.

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Muralitharan both prolific and controversial

The Bangladesh Observer

KANDY, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Sri Lanka off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who became the third person to reach 500 test wickets on Tuesday, is the world's most successful and controversial bowler.

Muralitharan, who imparts prodigious turn through a unique combination of finger spin and wrist rotation, reached 500 wickets in 87 tests and is set to become the highest wicket-taker in test history.

Australia leg spinner Shane Warne reached the 500-mark in his 108th test. West Indies' fast bowler Courtney Walsh was the first to the landmark after 129 matches.

At test level, Muralitharan has a best innings return of nine for 51 and a match haul of 10 wickets or more on a world record 13 occasions.

Muralitharan, still only 31, has vowed to play on until the 2007 World Cup and wants to become the first bowler to take 600 wickets.

But his career has been troubled by suspicions over the legality of his unconventional bowling action.

He was called for throwing during tours to Australia in 1995-96 and 1998-99 and his bowling action has been likened to that of a javelin thrower by former India left-arm spinner Bishen Bedi.

However, the world's governing body cleared his action after extensive bio-mechanical research.


Scientists concluded that a congenital disability that prevented his bowling arm from fully extending, coupled with an abnormally flexible wrist, created the optical illusion of throwing.

The controversy proved to be the turning point of his career as the overwhelming support of his team mates swelled the confidence of a previously shy character.

Before the 1995-96 tour to Australia, Muralitharan had been reluctant to experiment with his bowling but afterwards he unveiled a range of new variations, including a top spinner and a leg spinner.

Before being first called by umpires for throwing, he had averaged four wickets a test but during his last 52 test matches he has averaged an incredible seven wickets.

The son of a hill-country confectioner, Muralitharan learned to play the game at St Anthony's College, a private boarding school run by Benedictine monks.

As a 14-year-old, he aspired to becoming a fast bowler but his small frame and faltering action left him fighting for a place in his school team.

His coach there persuaded him to switch to off spin with immediate success and, during his final year, his record-breaking exploits began as he took the most wickets in a single season by a Sri Lankan schoolboy.

His talent was quickly spotted at higher levels and, aged 19, he moved to Colombo with his sights set on pursuing a career in cricket.

After just three first-class games, he was selected for the Sri Lanka A tour of England in 1991 and made his test debut in Colombo a year later against Australia, claiming three wickets in the match.

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