Mon, 23 Sep 2002

Teenager dropped for overseas tour

DHAKA: Bangladesh has dropped teenager Mohammad Ashraful, who made a century on his test debut, for their tour of South Africa later this month, Bangladesh Cricket Board officials said on Sunday.

They did not mention the grounds for dropping Ashraful.

The 17-year-old Ashraful made 114 in his first test earlier this month when Bangladesh were crushed by Sri Lanka in Colombo.

Three of Bangladesh's most senior players -- former captains Akram Khan and Aminul Islam and left-arm off spinner Enamul Hoque -- have also been dropped to make way for batsmen Sanwar Hossain and Rafiqul Islam and bowler Anwar Hossain.

Two other players from their Champions Trophy squad -- off- spinner Fahim Muntasir and middle-order batsman Mazharul Haque -- have been dropped and will return to Dhaka.--Reuters

Davis Cup final venue to be confirmed Friday

PARIS: French tennis federation president Christian Bimes said on Sunday a decision on the venue for the Davis Cup final at the end of November would be taken on Friday afternoon.

Speaking after Sebastien Grosjean beat Andy Roddick 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 at Roland Garros to wrap up a semi-final win for holders France over the United States, Bimes told French television that the Bercy stadium in eastern Paris was the likely venue ahead of a second possibility of Marseille.

The French, nine-times winner, hosted and lost the final against Australia in Nice on the Cote d'Azur in 1999 but won indoors in 1991 at Lyon against the United States.--AFP

Russian wins Vuelta's 14th stage

GIJON, Spain: Russia's Serguei Smetanine took advantage of some inexperienced riding by his breakaway companion Oscar Laguna to win the 14th stage of the Tour of Spain here Saturday, a 190.2-kilometer ride between Santander and Gijon.

Baby-faced Kelme rider Oscar Sevilla retained his one-second lead over teammate Aitor Gonzalez on a day when Smetanine left Laguna on the day's last climb to ride solo to the finish.

Spaniard Laguna came in 1:56 behind with the group ambling in 2 minutes 28 seconds behind Smetanine.

Although Smetanine and Laguna had worked together to build a considerable lead over the group, their partnership crumbled with 30 kilometers to race on the day's final climb.--AFP

Jury smacks WBC in boxer's suit

NEW YORK: A German boxer won a US$30 million judgment against the World Boxing Council when a Manhattan jury agreed that he was cheated out of his claim to the light-heavyweight championship, his attorney said Saturday.

Graciano Rocchigiani, 38, was awarded the decision Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court, said his lawyer Richard Dolan.

The jury awarded the veteran boxer $7.8 million in compensatory damages and another $20 million in punitive damages. With interest, the total will exceed $30 million.

The case began in 1998, when the WBC declared its light- heavyweight title vacant after Roy Jones - the belt-holder at the time - considered abandoning the weight class crown to become a heavyweight. Rocchigiani won a split decision against U.S. boxer Michael Nunn on March 21, 1998 to become the WBC light- heavyweight champion .

But the German left-hander's reign was brief when Jones decided to return to the light-heavyweight ranks in June 1998, Jones was restored to his position as WBC champion - without throwing a single punch.--AP

Woods on top despite McCarron's course-record 64

THOMASTOWN, Ireland: Tiger Woods birdied the last two holes for a five-under-par 67 and a five-shot lead after the third round of the WGC-American Express Championship on Saturday.

The world number one, two clear of the elite 64-man field overnight after successive rounds of 65, finished another sun- drenched day at Mount Juliet at 19-under 197.

Although he never quite matched the quality of his play from the first two days, he is yet to drop a shot in the tournament and is now comfortably placed to win the sixth World Golf Championship (WGC) title of his career.

His haul of five birdies on day three put him well clear of a group of six players at 14-under-par 202.

Sharing second place were Fiji's Vijay Singh (66), South Africa's Retief Goosen (68) and Americans David Toms (69), Steve Lowery (69), Jerry Kelly (70) and Scott McCarron, who fired a course-record of eight-under-par 64.--Reuters