From the publishers of THE HINDU

VOL.37 :: NO.51 :: Dec. 20, 2014



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Star Poster: CRISTIANO RONALDO



Cover Story
The vetting of veterans
The Indian team probables’ list for the 2015 World Cup had some surprises, mainly in the form of the omission of some stars who had performed well in the 2011 edition in India that the home team won. Vijay Lokapally analyses the situation.

Cricket
DEODHAR TROPHY FINAL
A success after 11 years
Skipper Manoj Tiwary and Ashoke Dinda played the lead roles in East’s defeat of West in the Deodhar Trophy final. By G. Viswanath.

Snooker
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Bingo bingtao!
Yan Bingtao’s triumph is bound to open up a debate on whether the Chinese system is restrictive or not. However, the 14-year-old’s feat certainly deserves credit. By Ashwin Achal.
INTERVIEW
Alchemy of a goldsmith
“Until recently, only hockey and cricket excited the country. Now snooker is the fastest growing sport in Pakistan,” says Muhammad Sajjad, who entered the final of the World Championship in Bengaluru recently. By Ashwin Achal.
INTERVIEW
A generation bridge called Morgan
The game of snooker has evolved. It has gotten bigger now, and things have naturally changed. It is now a young man’s sport, and we must cater to that audience, Darren Morgan tells Ashwin Achal.

Chess Corner
The Dombrovskis paradox


Football
INTERVIEW
High on Highbury
Former Arsenal legend Robert Pires has been overwhelmed by his popularity in India and now wishes to extend his involvement with Indian football, even dreaming about coaching FC Goa one day. The France World Cup winner in a chat with Ayon Sengupta & N. Sudarshan.
INTERVIEW
‘Zico got me here’
Andre Santos credits coach Zico for FC Goa’s turn in fortunes in the ISL. “Zico has always given opportunities to every player. There is no discrimination. He treats everyone equally and that helps our confidence,” the Brazilian tells K. Keerthivasan.
KICKING AROUND
Say it isn’t so!
Latest revelations based on a vast cache of evidence held by a database compiled secretly by a so-called “inner sanctum” of the English 2018 bid committee puts both Franz Beckenbauer and Michel Platini, each a revered football icon, all too depressingly in the spotlight. By Brian Glanville.
STARWATCH
A glutton for hard work
With wins against Newcastle, West Brom and Swansea recently, West Ham has consolidated its place in the top five. The Irons midfielder, Mark Noble, believes that West Ham must not let its standards slip. By Jim van Wijk.
The talented African is struggling to score
Emmanuel Adebayor has recently spoken about the poisonous atmosphere around White Hart Lane at the moment, with pressure being piled on to the players as results continue to disappoint. He even suggested the team would prefer to play away from the Spurs public eye, claiming away matches are easier to play. By Richard Waterhouse.

Badminton
FOCUS
Sindhu's Macau party
P. V. Sindhu denies that she was under some pressure to win the title after entering the Macau Grand Prix final. "Like any player, I TOO GO OUT TO WIN and not to lose," she tells V. V. Subrahmanyam.

General
FOCUS
Down memory lane for Milkha
The ‘Flying Sikh,’ Milkha Singh, is still an inspiration for many young athletes in India. Recently, he visited the EME Centre in Secunderabad, where he was introduced to athletics some six decades ago. V. V. Subrahmanyam catches up with Milkha.

Athletics
NATIONAL JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Kerala on a roll
The meet assumed importance as the top coaches of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) were present on all five days to witness and assess the performances of the future stars, writes J. R. Shridharan.
NATIONAL JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Bright prospect
When she takes off towards the high jump pit, she is more like a bird in a rhythmic flight preparing for landing. So graceful is her act, this teenager is one of the bright prospects of Indian field events. Meet the 13-year-old frail ...

Column
LONDON CALLING
Hughes’s demise and thousands of questions thereafter
Predictably, some cricket folk are calling the blow that killed this talented young sportsman “a fluke” and “one chance in a million” but that is not good enough. We must — mustn’t we — take every precaution against such outside chances, writes Ted Corbett.

Hockey
Indian Oil wins Beighton Cup

Once considered the Holy Grail of Indian Hockey, the 119-year-old Beighton Cup today has lost its lustre. The Governor of West Bengal, Keshari Nath Tripathi, recalling the glory days of the event, said: “As a young boy, I aspired to play ...

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