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July 15, 2003 13:20 IST

Vikram Solanki wins Asian Achievers Sports Awards

Vikram SolankiEngland's latest batting star Vikram Solanki, who excelled in the home team's triumphant campaign in the NatWest tri-series, has won the Asian Sports Achievers Award for 2003.

Solanki, who is of Indian origin, hit a brilliant century against South Africa in the league phase, has transformed the scene of English cricket since he made his debut for Worcestershire Cricket Club in 1993 and is now one of England's rising stars.

Solanki was recently described by England one-day skipper Michael Vaughan as a "perfect role model for young and aspiring cricketers." He received the award at a function organised by the Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar on Monday.

Singh withdraws as nominee to become WICB president

Chetram Singh withdrew as the sole candidate to become the West Indies Cricket Board's next president as ownership of a gambling business in Guyana would have disqualified him from sitting on the International Cricket Council.

The 53-year-old Singh, president of the Guyana Cricket Board, announced his decision on Sunday at the WICB's annual meeting in Roseau, Dominica.

"I believe that West Indies cricket needs continued unity at this time and I would not wish to accept the post of president without the broad-based support of the board and the cricket-loving people of the Caribbean," he said.

The cricket board has opened nominations to its six-member boards, including Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago and Windward Islands.

The WICB said it would call a special meeting to elect a replacement to the current president Rev. Wes Hall, a former Test player, selector and team manager, who resigned at the meeting in Dominica. Hall has cited unspecified health problems, which inhibit his ability to travel.

Cricket officials have not set a date for the special meeting.

Val Banks, the Anguillan banker who was re-elected vice president at the meeting over the only other candidate, will act as interim president.

Singh, 53, acknowledged that his ownership of a bookmaking business in Georgetown had caused concern over his ineligibility to represent the WICB at the International Cricket Council under its code of ethics.

Singh, who had been on the WICB for the 12 years he has headed the Guyana board, said he accepted his nomination "out of my love for West Indies cricket and his desire to serve wherever I am most needed."

"It is that same love of this game and our region that has prompted me to withdraw from this election," he added.

He will remain as one of Guyana's two directors on the WICB.

England all-rounder Cork gets suspended ban

England all-rounder Dominic Cork was given a three-match ban on Monday and fined 500 pounds (810 dollars) for calling Australian opponent Bradley Hodge a cheat.

However, England and Wales Cricket Board chiefs suspended the ban, which applies to first-class matches, for 12 months.

The 31-year-old Derbyshire captain was also ordered to pay 500 pounds towards the cost of the panel hearing.

During a Twenty20 cricket match between Leicestershire and Derbyshire on June 24, Hodge took a catch close to the boundary.

Hodge, 28, then ran over the boundary rope. He said afterwards he was just celebrating the dismissal. However, Cork felt that the umpires should have signalled a six instead.

In the act of completing a catch fielders must, according to the laws of cricket, not touch or step over the boundary rope in the act of completing a catch. If they do, six runs should be awarded.

The match umpires, having asked Hodge for his opinion, confirmed the catch.

Cork, called Hodge a cheat as the team left the field. He repeated the assertion in a newspaper article the next day, breaching ECB rules which prevent first-class players and officials in English cricket making personal attacks against one another.

England jump to third in one-day ratings

England, West Indies and New Zealand leapt up the International Cricket Council's one-day cricket ratings on Monday after recent wins.

After starting the season in eighth position England jumped to third while West Indies moved to fourth, one point behind.

At the top of the table Australia's lead over South Africa is extended to 16 with Ricky Ponting's side increasing their rating by two to 134 points and South Africa dropping two after losing to England.

India and Pakistan tumbled down the table due to the removal of games played between August 2000 and July 2001 from the system.

Ratings (previous position in brackets)

Tabulate under team, rating, rating change:

1. (1) Australia 134 + 2

2. (2) South Africa 118 - 2

3. (7) England 107 + 4

4. (6) West Indies 106 + 3

5. (8) New Zealand 106 + 5

6. (4) Sri Lanka 105 - 1

7. (3) Pakistan 105 - 3

8. (5) India 104 0

9. (9) Zimbabwe 63 - 3

10. (10) Kenya 28 0

11. (11) Bangladesh 3 - 1

Where ratings are equal the calculation is refined to three decimal places to determine the higher-ranked team.

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