first_imgRead Next 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises View comments League-leader Magnolia escapes Blackwater for 5th straight win LATEST STORIES Peraso, though, knows the the arrival of blue chip recruits adds puts more pressure on the Fighting Maroons to make it to the Final Four for the first time since 1997, but the incoming third year mentor welcomed that challenge.“The natural progression of our performance should be to make it to the Final Four this season,” he said. “A better team will give us better chances to make it. Pressure is good and we embrace it.” Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netAll eyes will be on  NCAA Season 93 Juniors Most Valuable Player Will Gozum, who has committed to return to  University of the Philippines, but coach Bo Perasol doesn’t want to put too much pressure on the new recruit.“I don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on him,” the approachable mentor said on Friday. “For as long as he does what’s expected of him, which is to get the rebounds and play defense, that’s fine by me.”ADVERTISEMENT Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Pressure is inevitable, though, as Gozum’s arrival adds more excitment for the title-thirsty UP, which has also tapped Nigerian big man Bright Akhuetie to join holdovers Paul Desiderio, Jun Manzo, Javi Gomez de Liaño and Season 80 Rookie of the Year Juan Gomez de Liaño.READ: NCAA jrs MVP Will Gozum commits to UPFEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutPerasol, however, will be treating the former Mapua Red Robin with kid gloves in the hopes of helping the 6-foot-6 big man reach his peak and match the hype.“If he lives up to his potential, he will be a great asset to the program,” he said. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. AFP official booed out of forumlast_img read more

first_imgGlobe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH AFP official booed out of forum UST, Adamson set stage for softball duel NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers King Miyagi scored twice while JB Borlongan tallied his second goal for the season for the Fighting Maroons.UST and UP are level with six points on top of the table.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutTigers coach Marjo Allado was delighted to see Anotado, who subbed in the 67th minute, return to the pitch after a two-year absence due to knee injury.“Happy to see him (Anotado) again in the UAAP. Even if he didn’t score, at least, he had chances,” said Allado. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises MOST READ 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena stingcenter_img LATEST STORIES Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC UP mentor Anto Gonzales lauded his troops for following up their 1-0 win over defending champion Ateneo last Sunday. University of Santo Tomas routed 10-man Adamson University, 3-0, while University of the Philippines drubbed University of the East by the same score to share the lead Thursday in the UAAP Season 80 men’s football tournament at Rizal Memorial Stadium.Dexter Benecio netted a first-half brace while Steven Anotado assisted Marvin Bricenio’s fourth goal of the season in the 68th minute as the Growling Tigers maintained their clean sheet.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST PLAY LIST 01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City View commentslast_img read more

first_imgTiger Woods tees off on the 10th hole during the first round of the Genesis Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)SLOS ANGELES — Three holes into his return to Riviera after a 12-year absence, Tiger Woods was 2-over par and bracing for the worst.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. He had little choice. Starting on the reachable par-4 10th, where one mistake can lead to big numbers, Woods played it perfectly with an iron to the far left of the fairway for the best angle into the green, a wedge to just under 10 feet and a birdie.His drive on the par-5 11th sailed to the right toward the trees. About 10 minutes later, a golf cart drove up to the tee with Woods in the passenger seat. He never found his ball, presumably swallowed up by the tree. There were questions that someone would have picked it up, but not enough evidence to suggest it was anything but lost.He made double bogey.Then, he lost his tee shot to the right, hit out of a greenside bunker past the flag and onto the fringe, and had to work for bogey.“I was 1 under early — first hole — and all of a sudden I went double bogey-bogey,” Woods said. “I was like, ‘Oh, man, here we go. I’ve got to somehow turn this thing around.’ And I was able to do that. Fought hard to try and keep that momentum going.”ADVERTISEMENT NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Thomas (69) and Rory McIlroy (71) played with Woods, neither a stranger to big crowds, but rarely virtually ignored.“Everyone’s out here to see Tiger, but I’m definitely the third player in the group,” Thomas said. “So I had a couple times where I had a short putt, people are walking off, but that’s a part of it. But the coolest part is the same thing — there’s so many people and it’s a Thursday morning playing with two really good friends and people that I look up to and people that I’ve tried to model my game after for so long. It’s pretty cool to be grinding out here with them.” Read Next Simmons, Mitchell and young NBA phenoms set for Rising Stars AFP official booed out of forum Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHcenter_img 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting It turned out to be another step forward.Woods overcame a drive that apparently never came down from a eucalyptus tree, another tee shot that wound up on another hole and few careless mistakes with the irons to post a 1-over 72 in the opening round Thursday at the Genesis Open.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutRiviera was at its best under full sunshine and greens that felt firm under the feet even in the morning. No one shot better than 67 from the early side of the draw.“I hung in there well and grinded,” Woods said. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice PLAY LIST 01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Woods wasn’t overly perturbed by the lost ball at No. 11 and can’t remember the last time it happened, suggesting Olympic Club when he was at Stanford.He answered with a perfect tee shot on the 13th and a 15-foot birdie putt, and he kept his round together with a series of putts from the 6-foot range for pars and birdies — a par save from the bunker on the 16th, a slippery birdie putt on the par-5 17th, a par save from above the hole left of the 18th green and a difficult two-putt birdie on the par-5 first hole from 50 feet that he rapped as though it were a 5-footer.He made more than he missed.“No one’s going low out there,” Woods said. “It’s too hard. The greens are starting to get a little bouncy, and those short ones are not easy.”His lament was two mistakes from the fairway — a wedge into No. 3 that went too long and over the green, taking away a good birdie chance; and pulling his approach on the seventh hole that went into a deep swale. Woods used his putter to get it up the hill, some 15 feet by the pin, and he missed the par putt.He finished strong, however, with an aggressive approach to a back right pin at No. 8 — anything long is a certain bogey — for a 3-foot birdie, and then an entertaining end to his round. He lost another tee shot so far right that it went into a bunker on the 10th hole. That bunker might be the toughest spot at Riviera, unless someone is playing the ninth hole. Woods hit a 9-iron just threw the green to set up a two-putt par.He last played Riviera in 2006 when he withdrew after making the cut because of the flu. This is his ninth time playing Riviera as a pro, the most of any PGA Tour course where he has never won.Being gone for so long meant big crowds for his return.“Just like the old days,” caddie John McLaren said as he walked toward the 14th tee and looked over at fans who stood six-deep watching Woods at No. 8. Geoff Ogilvy was coming down from the clubhouse toward the range after his round of 72 when a marshal told him to clear the area. Ogilvy showed the marshal his badge.“It doesn’t matter. Tiger is coming,” the marshal replied. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View commentslast_img read more

first_imgView comments MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students PLAY LIST 01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes Jordan, who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles in the 1990s, played 179 post-season games in his career.James moves past him to the top of the list in his 212th career playoff game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingRELATED STORYLeBron on MJ comparisons: ‘There’s no similarities in our game at all’ BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP Kings try to keep top 2 in sight Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates his dunk in the third quarter as Jae Crowder #99 of the Boston Celtics looks on during Game Five of the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 25, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. AFP/GETTY IMAGESLOS ANGELES—Cleveland superstar LeBron James surpassed NBA icon Michael Jordan as the league’s all-time playoff scoring leader on Thursday (Friday, Manila) in the Cavaliers’ Eastern Conference finals game against the Celtics in Boston.With a three-pointer in the third quarter James, 32, took his total of playoff points to 5,989 — two more than Jordan’s 5,987. He entered the contest needing 28 points to surpass Jordan.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PARlast_img read more

first_imgMOST READ Golden State went 40 years between titles after winning the crown in 1975. Three of the franchise’s five titles were secured after the team moved to the Bay Area from Philadelphia.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant smiles as he holds the NBA Finals MVP trophy during a parade and rally after winning the NBA basketball championship Thursday, June 15, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. APSAN FRANCISCO—The Golden State Warriors celebrated their latest NBA championship on Thursday (Friday, Manila), waving to the crowd from atop double-decker buses as their victory parade weaved through the streets of downtown Oakland.The jubilant players hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy and gave high fives to their fans as confetti filled the air.ADVERTISEMENT World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide LATEST STORIES The parade ended on the shores of Lake Merritt where coach Steve Kerr and the players addressed the crowd during an 80-minute rally.“We need to enjoy this to the fullest,” star guard Stephen Curry said. “This whole day, this whole atmosphere, is unbelievable.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games to win the title, capping a brilliant 15-1 post-season run. It was the second parade in three seasons for the Warriors.READ: Warriors finish off Cavaliers in 5 games, regain NBA title Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chickencenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ What ‘missteps’? WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage NBA: Clippers want to move out of Staples Center “There is nobody having more fun than me,” Warriors owner Joe Lacob said. “This is the best job in the world.”The championship was the first of forward Kevin Durant’s career, and the NBA finals MVP took in the moment.Durant’s decision to depart the Oklahoma City Thunder and join the Warriors was criticized by many, but winning the title provided redemption for the NBA star.“It means the world for me to win the championship,” Durant told the crowd. “Hopefully we can keep it going. Thank you for the support.“It has been a crazy year for me. Going through this year was so much fun. You come into work each day and it is more like fun.”ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Philippines earned another bronze medal in the squash tournament of the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur Thursday. Robert Andrew Garcia and Jemyca Aribado captured the third place for the Philippines, a finish they shared with Singapore. ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Aribado also won a bronze medal in the women’s doubles Wednesday together with Yvonne Alyssa Dalida. Host Malaysia finished 1-2 in the podium like in the women’s doubles. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening MOST READ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo NBA 2K18 promises to release Celtics version of Kyrie Irving cover Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul View comments Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim LATEST STORIES Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremonylast_img read more

first_imgLacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ San Beda brushed off a poor third set and dismantled Technological Institute of the Philippines in four, 25-13, 25-18, 25-27, 25-13, to start its campaign in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Cesca Racraquin led all scorers with 19 points to lead the Red Spikers but she wasn’t a one-lady show for San Beda as Satrriani Espiritu became a reliable second option finishing with 18 points.ADVERTISEMENT NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul LATEST STORIES Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Gayle Layug led the Engineers with 13 points.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Soltones still adjusting to new role as assistant coach for San Sebastian Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Twins Jiezela Viray and Nieza Viray were capable troublemakers for San Beda as they put up 15 and 10 points, respectively.Red Spikers head coach Nemesio Gavino knew of his team’s problem of dropping down whenever it gets a lead and he aims to fix it in the tournament.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“That’s our sickness, whenever we get a lead we tend to relax and our opponents see that,” said Gavino of his team’s poor performance in the third set. “That’s what we need to improve on.”“I think the kids were excited because this is the PVL and it’s a fairly big league.” View commentslast_img read more

first_imgFormer England captain Tony Greig.Ending India’s “domination” of the ICC and dismissing the “nonsense” idea of having a window for the IPL would top Tony Greig’s agenda if the former England captain is given charge of cricket’s world governing body.”Number one, we have got to try and get the ICC right. We have a situation at the moment where the ICC is dominated by India. They tell Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and one or two other countries what to do and they always get the vote,” Greig told the ‘BBC’ in an interview.”It’s very hard, but somehow we have got to change things at that level,” he added.Greig said there is too much cricket being played and having a separate window for the IPL would be ridiculous while players complain of burnout.”We are playing too much cricket. I would be getting all the countries from the world and saying hey listen, what is this nonsense of giving Indian domestic cricket an open window?”To give the IPL (Indian Premier League, a domestic Twenty20 competition) an open window, and reduce by two months the time available for cricketers to play around the world, in the current environment is just ridiculous.”We have got to look very, very closely and make sure we do not destroy the cornerstone of the game which is Test cricket,” said the 64-year-old former all-rounder, who is now a commentator.Greig said it was unfortunate to see players such as Chris Gayle coming up with batting fireworks in the IPL while the West Indies took on Pakistan in a Test series.advertisement”It is laughable that (Chris) Gayle and (Kieron) Pollard are playing in the IPL when the West Indies are playing Pakistan — that is just ridiculous.”Greig, however, maintained that he loves the cricketing atmosphere in India.”I took to India and the subcontinent very much…I loved the place,” said Greig, ahead of the publication of a new biography, ‘Tony Greig: A Reappraisal of English Cricket’s Most Controversial Captain,’ by David Tossell.”It was the first time I really felt as if we were entertaining people, as the people there loved the game so much — to go to those stadiums and find them packed full.”To this day (Kolkata’s) Eden Gardens remains one of my top three grounds, just because of the incredible atmosphere,” he added.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

first_img“Hi Hansie.” Exactly 30 months ago, those secretly intercepted words began cricket’s most infamous conversation between a man yet to emerge from the obscurity of match-fixing and another who had the talent to turn a match on its head. Speaking over cell phones, Sanjiv Chawla and Hansie Cronje combined to,”Hi Hansie.” Exactly 30 months ago, those secretly intercepted words began cricket’s most infamous conversation between a man yet to emerge from the obscurity of match-fixing and another who had the talent to turn a match on its head.Speaking over cell phones, Sanjiv Chawla and Hansie Cronje combined to cast a shadow of doubt over the game forever. The Hansie case is forgotten, but the spectre of match-fixing is back. So it appears from the way the International Cricket Council (ICC) and its Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) are going about their task in Sri Lanka.Somehow the ICC believes that corruption in cricket runs deep in the subcontinent; doesn’t matter if the South Africans and English authorities refused to cooperate in the original match-fixing investigations.FAIR-PLAY FORCE: ICC investigators are in Colombo as part of the council’s sizeable security operation teamThe crackdown in the Emerald Isles is unprecedented. The ICC Champions Trophy in Colombo – the biggest cricket tournament after the World Cup – has witnessed the most extensive and intensive security operation with all ACU members and regional security officers turning up. The chief of the ACU, Lord Paul Condon, a former commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police, was scheduled to fly in late last week, ICC spokesman Brendan Mc Clements told INDIA TODAY “Our brief is simple: to see that the players are safe and secure and there is no malpractice during the tournament.”One look at the entrance to the change rooms at the two venues for the Champions Trophy and it is clear that nothing has been left to chance. There is a line-up of mug shots on the photo board, belonging not to those whom the authorities want to keep out but to those who they want to let in. Lined up side by side are portraits of modern cricket’s good and great-one day it could be Sachin Tendulkar with his teammates, on another Sanath Jayasuriya.The purpose of the mug shots is to let players point to their pictures and get past submachinegun-toting security men should they be stopped from entering their dressing room. Close-circuit cameras maintain surveillance on human traffic in and out of the room. Inside the change rooms, big, bold “No Mobile Phones” signs are prominently displayed.Australian John Rhodes, ICC’s security manager for the Champions Trophy and the regional security officer for Australia and New Zealand, had also scripted the security plan for the Sydney Olympics in 2000. He says the photo boards and ACU contact numbers in the dressing-rooms “are going to be the norm for international cricket now”. Rhodes and his colleagues aim to build what one ACU officer calls a “sterile” corridor between players and bookmakers like Chawla.You see the security everywhere. The official team hotel, The Taj Samudra, uses four times its normal security staff to police the event and another 200 men from the Sri Lankan Government’s ministerial security division are on stand-by round the clock. Theoretically speaking, even if Chawla wanted he would not be able to speak to any player; all phone calls to the cricketers are being screened.advertisementMissing InformationClick here to EnlargeThe effort to sever cricket’s dodgier connections is real. The ACU has started briefing sides in private on a regular basis. It is learnt that Lord Condon met the Indians on their tour of England this year and told them his unit was convinced there were still three current international players who were giving inside information to bookies.Two matches in the Champions Trophy both featuring Pakistan, have come up for ACU’s scrutiny. The first, publicised on air by commentator and former England captain Tony Greig, against Sri Lanka was put under the cosh because of the run-out of Yousuf Youhana. The Pakistani was run out by the length of the pitch without scoring. Youhana was recently sent home from a one-day series in Kenya on disciplinary grounds and then rejoined the team for the Colombo tournament.The other incident being looked into is the hit-wicket dismissal of Inzamam-ul-Haq in the tri-series in Morocco. In that match against South Africa, the Pakistanis needed runs at less than three an over with seven wickets in hand. Inzamam was in complete control until he hit a six over midwicket’s head in the 42nd over off rookie spinner Justin Ontong and then – as the ball took a couple of seconds to fly over the fielder – lost his balance and trod on the stumps. Pakistan went on to lose the match.The ACU has files on all international players with suspect credentials and the one on a Pakistani is reportedly said to be” four times” thicker than any other international cricketer’s, ACU Chief Investigator Jeff Rees recently told an English newspaper that his unit had interviews and reports with players and officials on file that could make “your hair stand on end”.Another match under the scanner is rumoured to have raked in bets of $ 2 million (Rs 9.7 crore). One “exotic” bet, according to intelligence inputs, was that the highest scorer in the Holland innings when they played Pakistan in the Champions Trophy round robin would be the extras. It may be pure coincidence but the scoreboard did show that the extras conceded were 33; the next highest scorer was not-out batsman Roland Lefebvre with 32.The stepped-up security checks and surveillance in Sri Lanka are a prelude to the big event – the cricket World Cup in South Africa next year. Now if only the ICC would do something about the original case.-with Sayantan Chakravartyadvertisementlast_img read more