Meaning of YEAR IN REVIEW 1997: SPORTS-AND-GAMES: CRICKET in English

YEAR IN REVIEW 1997: SPORTS-AND-GAMES: CRICKET

CRICKET: World Cup Twenty-one years after its introduction to international cricket, Sri Lanka dominated the sixth World Cup to become the world champion of one-day cricket. To cap a remarkable tournament for the 66-1 outsiders, Sri Lanka beat the favourite, Australia, by seven wickets in a final held exactly a month after the Australian team had refused to play its group match against Sri Lanka in Colombo because of fears for the security of the team in the wake of a terrorist bomb that exploded in the Sri Lankan capital just 15 days before the start of the tournament. The West Indies team also forfeited its group match rather than play in Sri Lanka. In terms of organization and structure, the World Cup, held in Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka, bore out many of the fears expressed before the start. The tournament was too unwieldy, too long, and too commercialized. Teams spent nearly three weeks and played five group matches just to eliminate four teams--Zimbabwe, Kenya, The Netherlands, and the United Arab Emirates--from the field of 12. England, for example, lost three of its group matches yet still qualified for the quarterfinals. While most other nations played to the traditional patterns of one-day cricket, building an innings slowly and relying on medium-pace bowling to contain runs, Sri Lanka took advantage of the rules that allowed only two fielders to be set deep in the first 15 overs of a match to score heavily in the opening overs and used four spinners. S.T. Jayasuriya, usually a big-hitting lower-order batsman, was promoted to open the innings, a move so novel that cricket had to borrow from baseball the term pinch hitter to describe him. The group matches were largely unmemorable, apart from Kenya's defeat of the West Indies by 73 runs. Typically, the West Indies beat Australia in its next group match, but a defeat by the same team in the semifinals when the West Indies lost 8 wickets for 37 runs to lose by 5 runs brought to an unhappy end the international career of R.B. Richardson, the captain, who had already announced his retirement from international cricket at the end of the tournament. Sri Lanka beat England comfortably in the quarterfinals and was leading India in the semifinals when a riot broke out in the crowd of 110,000 in Calcutta. After a 20-minute delay, the referee, former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd, was unable to restart play and awarded the win to Sri Lanka. In the final P.A. De Silva (107 not out) and A. Ranatunga (47 not out), the captain of Sri Lanka, put on 97 for the fourth wicket to guide Sri Lanka to 245 for 3 past the Australian total of 241 for 7. De Silva and Ranatunga topped the tournament batting averages, while S.R. Tendulkar (see BIOGRAPHIES), who succeeded Mohammed Azharuddin as captain of India later in the year, was the highest run scorer, with 523. (ANDREW LONGMORE) Cross Country and Marathon Running Kenya's Paul Tergat won the men's individual title at the world cross country championships in Stellenbosch, S.Af., in March, while Ethiopia's Gete Wami took the women's crown. As in 1995, Kenya won all four team championships (seniors and juniors for both men and women). The African nation thus stretched its number of consecutive senior men's team crowns to 11 and its string of junior men's crowns to 9. In the Olympic Games at Atlanta, Ga., Josia Thugwane of South Africa won the men's marathon in 2 hr 12 min 36 sec. The women's gold medal went to Fatuma Roba of Ethiopia in 2 hr 26 min 5 sec. The world half-marathon championship was won by Stefano Baldini of Italy, who raced the 21.1-km (13.1-mi) road course in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, in 1 hr 1 min 17 sec. Italy won the team title. Ren Xiujuan of China took the women's championship in 1 hr 10 min 39 sec as Romania won its fourth consecutive team crown. The men's and women's winners of other major marathons in 1996 were: Osaka women's, Katrin Drre-Heinig (Germany) 2 hr 26 min 4 sec; Tokyo men's, Vanderlei de Lima (Brazil) 2 hr 8 min 38 sec; Boston, Moses Tanui (Kenya) 2 hr 9 min 16 sec and Uta Pippig (Germany) 2 hr 27 min 12 sec, for her third consecutive victory; Rotterdam, Belayneh Dinsamo (Ethiopia) 2 hr 10 min 30 sec and Lieve Slegers (Belgium) 2 hr 28 min 6 sec; London, Dionicio Cern (Mexico) 2 hr 10 min 0 sec and Liz McColgan (U.K.) 2 hr 27 min 54 sec; Berlin, Abel Antn (Spain) 2 hr 9 min 15 sec and Colleen de Reuck (South Africa) 2 hr 26 min 35 sec; New York City, Giacomo Leone (Italy) 2 hr 9 min 54 sec and Anuta Catuna (Romania) 2 hr 28 min 18 sec; Tokyo women's, Nobuko Fujimura (Japan) 2 hr 28 min 58 sec; and Fukuoka men's, Lee Bong Ju (South Korea) 2 hr 10 min 48 sec. (SIEG LINDSTROM) CURLING At the 1996 world curling championships in Hamilton, Ont., Canadian rinks won both the men's and women's crowns. Skipped by Jeff Stoughton, Canada, represented by Winnipeg, Man., beat Scotland, skipped by Warwick Smith and represented by Perth, 6-2. Rounding out the top 10, in order, were Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, England, the United States, Italy, Germany, and Australia. In the women's competition Marilyn Bodogh skipped Canada, represented by St. Catharines, Ont., to a 5-2 victory over the U.S., skipped by Lisa Schoeneberg and represented by Madison, Wis. The remaining top 10 finishes in order were Norway, Germany, Scotland, Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and Finland. The U.S. Curling Association in October announced its annual awards. Schoeneberg was named Female Athlete of the Year, and Travis Way of Seattle, Wash., who led his team to the junior men's national championship, was the men's winner. Steve Brown of Madison was named Coach of the Year; his women's team, skipped by Schoeneberg, had won three U.S. championships. (JAMES MORRIS) CYCLING Changes in bicycle design and equipment led to cycling's governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), taking action to restore the emphasis to the performance of the rider. Meeting on the eve of the 1996 world road championships in Lugano, Switz., the management committee of the UCI ruled that from Jan. 1, 1997, handlebars could not extend more than 15 cm (5.9 in) beyond the hub of the front wheel, and the distance from the bottom bracket on the bicycle frame to the front hub should not exceed 75 cm (29.5 in). The move effectively outlawed the extended straight-arm position introduced in 1995 by British rider Graeme Obree and used widely in track racing during 1996 to establish world records in the men's individual and team pursuits, women's individual pursuit, and men's one-hour race. Expressing a wish to protect the aesthetic image of cycling by halting developments that put technology and machines above riders, the UCI stated that further measures were anticipated for 1997 to achieve the ultimate aims of reducing technical emphasis to a minimum and restoring the universal nature of the sport by keeping costs within the reach of all nations. The aerodynamic value of the extended-arm style, dubbed the "Superman position," helped Italian riders Andrea Collinelli and Antonella Bellutti win Olympic pursuit titles in Atlanta, Ga. During the world track championships in Manchester, Eng., the British rider Chris Boardman adopted the extended straight-arm position to break the men's 4,000-m-pursuit record by more than eight seconds for a time of 4 min 11.114 sec. Also using the straight-arm position, Italy set a world record of 4 min 0.958 sec for the 4,000-m men's team pursuit, and the world record for the women's 3,000-m pursuit was lowered four times until it finally was established by Marion Clignet of France at 3 min 30.974 sec. Boardman returned to the Manchester track five days after the championships and covered a world-record distance of 56.357 km (1 km = 0.62 mi) in one hour, breaking the 1994 mark of 55.291 km set by Tony Rominger. The highlight of the world road championships at Lugano was the contest in the men's road race. In a two-man battle over the 252-km (157-mi) course, Johan Museeuw of Belgium defeated Switzerland's Mauro Gianetti by one second. As a result of the move to open competition, professionals were admitted to the Olympic Games for the first time. Also, a full world championship program was held in 1996, as opposed to previous Olympiad years, when only non-Olympic disciplines were contested. Cycling's premier road event, the Tour de France, was won by Bjarne Riis, the first Dane to win the three-week, 3,764-km event. Miguel Indurain of Spain was unsuccessful in his bid to score an unprecedented sixth successive tour victory, finishing in 11th place more than 14 minutes behind Riis. Riis took the overall lead after winning the ninth stage to Sestriere, Italy, which was reduced from 189.5 km to 46 km because of snow at the start at Val-d'Isre and on the Col du Galibier climb. (JOHN R. WILKINSON) EQUESTRIAN SPORTS Cigar, the horse that dominated U.S. competition for two seasons, was retired to stud at the conclusion of the 1996 campaign, during which he raced eight times at seven tracks in three countries, equaled the longest winning streak in thoroughbred racing history, and became the leading money-winning thoroughbred of all time. In spite of losing three of his last four starts, including a third-place finish in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic in his final appearance, the six-year-old son of Palace Music was certain to be voted Horse of the Year, an honour he won in 1995 after being undefeated in 10 starts. Cigar's greatest achievement came on March 27, when he scored a thrilling victory in the inaugural running of the $4 million Dubayy World Cup at Nad as-Sheba racetrack in Dubayy, United Arab Emirates. It was only his second start of the year, and the performance came a month after his training was disrupted because of a hoof problem. He tied Citation's 20th-century record for consecutive victories by a thoroughbred when he notched his 16th straight triumph on July 13 in the Arlington Citation Challenge at Arlington International Racecourse near Chicago. Cigar was thwarted in his bid to break the record when he finished second in his next start, the $1 million Pacific Classic. Trained by Bill Mott and bred and owned by Allen Paulson, Cigar completed his brilliant career with earnings of $9,999,813. He retired with 19 victories, 4 seconds, and 5 thirds in 33 starts. Following farewell appearances before 16,000 admirers at the National Horse Show in New York City's Madison Square Garden on November 2 and before a crowd of 12,443 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on November 9, Cigar was formally retired to Ashford Stud after one of the most expensive syndication deals ever put together in the U.S. For the first time in its 13-year history, the Breeders' Cup was held outside the United States. The 1996 host track was Woodbine Race Course in Toronto. Seven championship stakes worth $11 million were held there on October 26. Alphabet Soup, a five-year-old making his first venture out of the state of California in seven 1996 starts, won the Breeders' Cup Classic by a nose over the tenacious three-year-old Louis Quatorze. Cigar was another head back in third in the 1 1/4 -mi event. Alphabet Soup was timed in a track record 2 min 1 sec. He earned $2,080,000 for his fourth win of the campaign. Irish-bred Pilsudski, British owned and trained, and ridden by Walter Swinburn, won the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf. Da Hoss, whose questionable conformation had allowed his owners to purchase him for just $6,000 as a yearling, increased his career bankroll to $1,394,458 with his victory in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Mile. He had finished last in the 1995 Breeders' Cup Sprint. Jockey Corey Nakatani's first of two Breeders' Cup Day winners came in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint. Lit de Justice, which trailed the field of 13 early in the six-furlongs race, rallied strongly to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths in 1 min 8 3/5 sec, tying the track record. The winner was trained by Jenine Sahadi, the first woman to saddle a Breeders' Cup winner. Nakatani recorded his second Breeders' Cup victory in the $1 million Distaff with Jewel Princess. Jewel Princess won the Eclipse Award as champion older filly or mare of 1996. D. Wayne Lukas, who had won more Breeders' Cup races than any other trainer, gained his 13th victory when Boston Harbor won the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile by a neck, his sixth win in seven starts. Storm Song won the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and thereby clinched championship honours in her division. In addition to Cigar, another champion was retired at the conclusion of the 1996 racing season. The Lukas-trained Serena's Song completed an eventful career ranked as the leading money-winning female thoroughbred of all time, with earnings of $3,283,388. The 122nd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4 was captured by Grindstone by a nose over Cavonnier and gave trainer Lukas an unprecedented sixth straight victory in a Triple Crown race. Grindstone never raced again. Five days after the win, a bone chip was discovered in the colt's right front knee, and he was retired. Grindstone raced in 15th place in the field of 19 three-year-olds for the first half-mile and was still 14th with half a mile left to race in the 1 1/4 -mi classic. He was the first Kentucky Derby winner for his 78-year-old owner, William T. Young. Jockey Pat Day accounted for his fifth victory in the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, Md., the second jewel in the U.S.'s Triple Crown for three-year-olds, when he won the May 18 running of the 1 3/16 -mi event with Louis Quatorze. The winner was trained by Nick Zito, who snapped Lukas's streak of Triple Crown race victories. It was Day's third straight Preakness triumph. The 1 1/2 -mi Belmont Stakes on June 8 at Belmont Park near New York City went to Editor's Note and gave trainer Lukas and owner Young their second Triple Crown race victory of the year. It was Lukas's third straight Belmont Stakes triumph. One of the most consistent three-year-olds of 1996 was Skip Away, which defeated Cigar in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on October 5. Skip Away won 6 of 12 starts and $2,699,280 in purses in 1996. (JOHN G. BROKOPP)

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